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Posts from December 2011

Two tapping feet

Toe-tappingThe boots of St. Nicholas and a Merry Christmas to All

"There is a wonderful custom not quite as old as the hills, about children putting their shoes outside their bedroom door before sleeping time, on December 5, in the hope that St. Nicholas will come in the night and put gifts in their feetless shoes. December 6th is his feast day. I still put mine out with the hope that I will wake, put on my shoes, and rejoice in the gift of my two tapping feet alive and well in the morning."

~ Father Michael Doyle

Sun over darkness

Solstice22ndOn this, the solstice, the precise angle of the morning sun invades the darkest corners of the house / Dec. 22, 2011

Winter solstice, midwinter, the longest night, the first day of winter.

The days now begin to lengthen and the nights shorten -- a victory of the sun over the darkness.

In some ancient cultures a fire was made in the hearth and the personal household gods were invited to join in the festivities. (Have you invited your household gods to a celebration?)

Some Eastern European cultures worshiped the winter mother goddess, Rozhanitsa. In colorful embroideries she was depicted as an antlered woman and offered sacrifices of honey, bread and cheese (how perfectly lovely and peaceful).

"Oh, the rising of the sun ... and the running of the deer ..." (lyrics from The Holly and the Ivy)

Love for all we did have*

At_irma_1948Remembering our cousin Major Sam and the relatives there to greet him / Jake and Doris, Irma and Jake, Edna and Eddie, Bee, Bunk, Leonard, Mary, Maggie, gas attendant, Ed, Charlie / Harrisburg, PA, circa 1948 / * Irma wrote this to me in a card years ago

How could I have come so far
(And always on such dark trails!)
I must have traveled by the light
Shining from the faces of all those I have loved.

~ Thomas McGrath

Sublime wonder

Geranium_in_decemberGeranium still blooming in December / Dec. 2011

Routinely maneuver yourself into positions where your primal self will be filled up with sublime wonder, mysterious beauty, and smart love.

~ Rob Brezsney

That yearning

Boundary_creekColors on a peaceful late fall morning / New Jersey / Nov. 2011

Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.
And the Drano won't work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up
waiting for the plumber I still haven't called. This is the everyday we spoke of.
It's winter again: the sky's a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through
the open living-room windows because the heat's on too high in here and I can't turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,
I've been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,
I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.
What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss--we want more and more and then more of it.
But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I'm gripped by a cherishing so deep
for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I'm speechless:
I am living. I remember you.

~ What the Living Do by Marie Howe

To love that well

TreeofheavenComing upon the Tree of Heaven on the island made of dredge -- like a little signpost from our Mary, the dear friend of my dear mother and the dear mother of my dear friends / Amico Island / Nov. 2011

"...where late the sweet birds sang..."

~ William Shakespeare, Sonnet 73