Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
By Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
You probably are thinking the heat has gotten to my brain, or maybe it’s the pain pills for my back pain. But, on one of the recent warm summer days I picked up a book of poetry and it opened up to one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost. So in all this heat we’ve been having here in the Northwest I thought this might make for a peaceful, cool meditation using either Lectio Divina with the poem or Visio Divina with the photograph, or do both.
Lectio Divina with Poetry, using poetry to hear God in the silence
- Choose either a single verse or the whole poem portion you wish to focus your meditation on.
- Place yourself in a comfortable position and allow yourself to become silent, focus for a few moments on your breathing.
- Read the chosen text through, slowly and gently. Listen to yourself read, let yourself to savor each word and phrase.
- Read the text a second time. What words or phrases stick out for you? Remember God speaks to us in silence and in our listening. The words that pop out do so for a reason, pay attention to them.
- Read the text a third time. Are there any other words that speak to you?
- Sit now in silence, letting the words you have heard, speak to you and for you in your prayer, your conversation with God. What images, ideas, words spring forward? Or maybe all of them are present in mediation. Sit with those insights as you experience the presence of God. Give your insights to God. Do the insights give you new meaning or transformation of your actions, or prayer life?
- Now rest in God’s arms. Let God’s presence give you comfort. Do you feel the pull to return to your meditations? Then begin again. If not close with a prayer of gratitude for the time you have spent in God’s presence and the insights you have received.
Visio Divina with a Photograph
- Study the picture slowly, taking a first glance noting the colors, people, places and things. Remain with the image for one to two minutes. If you would like, jot down a few words about the image.
- Take a second, deeper, look. Where is there movement? What relationships do you see? Engage your imagination. Where are you in the photo? What do you see from that perspective? What deeper meaning emerges?
- Respond to the image with prayer. Did the image remind you of an experience, person or issue for which you’d like to offer thanksgiving or intercession? Offer your thoughts as prayer to God.
- Find your quiet center. Breathe deeply. Relax your shoulders, arms and legs. Rest in this quiet. Let God pray in you. God prays beyond words.
May the presence of the Holy Spirit blow through your heart cooling your spirit and giving you new strength.
Ruth Jewell, ©July 28, 2015