Reflections by Jerry Webber

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Snow and Ash: An Ash Wednesday Poem by Steve Garnaas-Holmes

I've recently found the work of Steve Garnaas-Holmes through some friends who regularly forwarded his poetry and psalm-work to me. His website is Steve will also add you to his daily mailing list if you you'd like.

His work has touched me, and this morning's poem is beautiful.


This snow, deep but fine like ash
drifting over your sidewalk
will be gone in weeks.
But you shovel it today anyway
because today you need to walk out of your house.
You shovel it while it is snow
before it is regret.

Before it melts
this short life is yours
to choose well with,
what to shovel, what not to shovel.
Hard to do, to put your shoulder
to the work of compassion
when you could stay in.

So many conflicting winds
would drift your life
into ruinous places.
Only the warm energy of life
guides you, carving out
this path and not another.

pause amidst your labors,
and receive the grace you need.

Remember you are snow,
and to snow you shall return.

--Steve Garnaas-Holmes (

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