The Long Requirement

 During the past twenty-four hours
I have seen two spiders.
This is big news.
After a winter of relentless snow
and thaw, rain and ice,
even a spider –
signaling that insects
are stirring into spring –
excites my blood.
You may laugh
at this desperate noticing.
If so, you have not truly encountered
the cold threat of this winter.
the long requirement of engagement
necessary for survival,
the willingness to get up
every morning without fail,
to make fire, to bring warmth,
to step out, day after white day,
into the winter world.
Some do this inside their own souls
without having to clear snow from their doors
or watch weather for travel.
It is no different.
Winter comes to the spirit as well as to the land
and all signs of spring
even a crawling spider
are as welcome
as a July sunrise.