At the Edge of the Year

I stand
at the edge of a virgin year,
hallowed with a light dusting of snow.

Skates in hand,
I hope
the ice is thick enough
the surface smooth enough
my ankles strong enough
to do something beautiful.

But I’m not a skater.
I’m a writer
and sitting on my couch
in the silence and spaciousness of morning,
I can write myself
into any metaphor I choose.

But this is the one that came,
even though
I don’t own a pair of skates
and the lakes rarely freeze.

I stand on the frosty edge of a still perfect year
with a gut load of I-can’ts
and should-have-started-sooners.
My aging body isn’t tricked so easily
into believing that
a fresh start
is all I need to stay upright,
never mind move with grace.

I can write myself across any frozen lake
with ease and confidence
and take my readers with me.
I know how to do that.

But I don’t know how to do this–
to be the me that’s being formed
minute by minute,
hour by hour.

I haven’t met her yet.

Sometimes I get glimpses
of what I think she’ll look like,
and when I do,
I trip and fall.

As Teilhard de Chardin said,
“Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be.”

So with my skates laced tight,
I put on my mittens
and give You my hand.


Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.  And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability—and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you; your ideas mature gradually—let them grow; let them shape themselves, without undue haste. Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow. Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that His hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.

— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

The principal, David Ward, asked my husband, Fred, to dress up for his sendoff. So, as you can see, he did. For the past four years, Fred has been the facility manager of John Knox Elementary School. Whenever he went into the school to do one or two jobs, he was given one or two more; they were so delighted by all he could do. He moved lockers, hung bulletin boards, fixed doors that wouldn’t close properly, contracted roofers and plumbers, and reset 56 clocks–twice a year. Fred received many handmade cards, gifts, and accolades. Wendy Pertulla, Director of Curriculum, called Fred gold and had a long list of what they appreciate about him, particularly his diligence, patience, and ability to troubleshoot problems and communicate well–and with a sense of humour. As one of the students wrote: Thank you, Mr. Fred. You came, you sawed, you fixed.

Credits and References:
Frozen lake by Tony Webster from Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, via Wikimedia Commons.
Ice skates by Benson Kua. Used with permission.
Photo of alien Fred used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2020.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2020.

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in False Self, Poetry, Reflections, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to At the Edge of the Year

  1. Cheryl Lee Andersson says:

    Beautiful Esther. Only God could say what this new spirit forming within me will be!
    New Year’s blessings to you and Fred
    ❤️ Cheryl Lee


  2. maureenmillershawca says:

    Thank you Esther. I remain grateful for your heart that intuited what to offer each week and your hearts courage to send,
    Fred…you are amazing! Congratulations!
    You came…you “sawed” and you responded.
    That’s a gift!!


  3. Boelle says:

    So rich and deep! I keep it open so I can keep going back to read it through and ponder anew; your bringing in the de Chardin quotes was inspiration to new heights! Thank you Esther for your transparency, even more clear in this poem.<3!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: At the Edge of the Year | INspiration

  5. Esther Hizsa says:

    Thanks, Boelle. So good to hear. I am grateful to Gillian who shared that quote at Imago Dei in the summer. It keeps speaking to me.


  6. audreyhoehn says:

    Totally love Fred’s photo! The kids must have loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: The Song That Is My Life | An Everyday Pilgrim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.