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The Thawing Stream

Alex Motyka

Chicago, IL

The Chicago Waldorf School



Most beautiful the horizon clouded 

The wind across the field blows them forth; 

To make with grey the known world shrouded 

A blanket of light shadow from the North. 


Were I a child would I wait for snow, 

As wind picks up and shakes the unclad trees 

Then cold would come and in my face would blow 

Only then would I miss the summer breeze. 


Imagine now a frozen-over stream, 

A hardened artery of inert bends 

Come thaw! and the merciful sun’s beam: 

The fish to swim; the stream to flow again. 


We cannot appreciate these moments 

Until we are grown or have paved the streams 

That were home to our own delight and hints 

That we can return from any extremes.


The Shakespearean sentence structure, in particular, highlights Motyka’s diligence and flexibility, as he breaks convention to strengthen the piece. With its theme of appreciating everyday beauty, it calls to mind the epiphany that comes most often during quiet, early mornings—of thankfulness to be irrevocably here, in this moment, alive.


Alex Motyka is a current student at Chicago Waldorf High School in Chicago, Illinois, and will graduate in the Class of 2020. He plays on the school’s varsity basketball team, is a member of the Chicago Sierra Club Water Team, and he composes music in his spare time.

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