Friday, December 23, 2011

My Answer

My friend J asked two questions about miracles at the end of today's post. Here's my answer

We all experience big moments that thrill us to the very marrow—births, weddings, reunions, reconciliations. It's the little moments however, the ordinary, ho-hum, didn’t-see-them-because-we-weren’t-looking miracles that make up our days. Here are a few of my favorites:

*Silence, broken by bird song or a child's laughter.

*Being kissed by a kitten. Or a child, a sweetheart, an old friend, a puppy (or a sunbeam).

*Finding money in my pocket unexpectedly.

*The first glimpse of a harvest moon hanging above the horizon like a glowing Japanese lantern, or walking along a silver moonpath on a snowbound night.

*Getting all green lights.

*Hearing a voice warm with love on the other end of the telephone line.

*Climbing between sheets that have been hung on a line to dry. It’s like falling asleep out of doors in the sun and wind. In fact, crawling into bed when I’m exhausted is such a marvelous moment that I try to stay awake long enough to relish its comfort.

*Opening a new book. Reading an old favorite. Making my own books. There’s an immense satisfaction that comes from making things from scratch.

*Feeling the weight of my grandchildren as they fall asleep against me. There is nothing more endearing than the faith of a child and nothing more rewarding than knowing you are trusted completely.

*Wearing my favorite sweater. The sleeves are stretched, the shoulders have been stitched and re-stitched and the color is faded from countless washings, but it is still the first thing I reach for when I’m chilly or in need of comfort.

*Facing a blank piece of paper. What better way to illustrate unlimited potential?

*Being the recipient AND the perpetrator of small kindnesses.


*Dawn…not such a little moment, perhaps, seeing as it banishes night and gives us a new day every single time, but so often we miss it in our hurry to be doing instead of being. I want to be in that first blush of light when the morning is fresh and the world holds its breath. I want to be kissed awake by that first sunbeam.  

What are yours?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Yesterday was as grey as the bowl of an old soup spoon. Rain fell intermittently, making the earth look as drab and miserable as the sky above it. Last night a bullying wind herded the clouds eastward leaving a sky freckled with stars. Now the sun is shining, gilding the bare treetops and turning the clouds lemon yellow at the edges. The little snow that fell last week is gone and the green grass and warmer temperatures make it look and feel more like spring than winter.

I am compiling my poetry into books for family Christmas gifts. Here's one for you.


Birds weave the morning light.
the day grows down
to dusk and night,
and I, the watcher,
won't be here
again until the breaking year.

My best wishes to you all for a happy holiday season!

Monday, December 12, 2011

My cheerful little Christmas tree reminds me of  the joy of the season.
There are days when you simply have to be thankful for what you have. Today was one of those.

I go out to the car to drive to work and find that a front tire is flat. While the mechanic is fixing it, he tells me I need four new all-weather tires before the snow flies. I remind myself I am lucky to have a car.

All 19 students in my classroom act as though they are in the throes of full moon madness, lying sideways on their desks, chattering to one another like magpies instead of working quietly, starting food fights in the cafeteria and attacking one another on the playground. I remind myself that I'm lucky to have a job.

My bank account is starving. I remind myself that I am not.

The landlord's furnace goes kaput and it will take three full days to replace it and all the antiquated attendant piping - three days without heat or hot water (my cottage is attached to the main house). I remind myself I'm lucky to have a place to live.

I cannot sleep straight through a night, no matter how tired I am. When I wake at 2 or 3 or 4, the monkey mind will not be stilled. I remind myself I'm lucky to still be cognizant of what's going on around me.

Two of my four children live too far away to see at holidays. I remind myself that though we are distant in miles we are close in heart.

Not everyone is as lucky as I am!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Visit

Exhausted bunny...
My daughter C and her one-year-old daughter, the Bean, visited this weekend. C and I ate lots of good food, talked about anything and everything, played Scrabble by candlelight so Bean could sleep in the dark, and got down on the floor with her (often!) to play with her toys. She doesn't call me Mam Mam anymore. When she woke this morning, she took several toddling steps toward me and yelled, "Memere!" plain as plain. C and I looked at each other in amazement and my eyes filled. It's so easy to cry happy tears when you're in love.

C and I watched the Bean's little face light up at her first glimpse of holiday lights, helped her feed corn to some very bouncy goats at a local nursery, and took turns keeping vigil while she napped in the car and we tromped off into the woods, one and then the other, to cut trees for Christmas.

Tiny tree for a tiny cottage...
It was a clear, blustery day. While C tied the tree to the roof of her car for the trip home, hundreds of quonking geese flew overhead to land on the nearby pond. Their concerted voices were like the distant roar of a great crowd. I waved the car down the road (part of my heart always goes with it) and then I walked to where I could see the water. It was covered with dark, bobbing bodies resting serenely on the surface. The great, full Frost moon hovered near the horizon, shedding its pale light on me and geese alike.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Winter Prayer

Not THE snowy winter mentioned below but one of them from my childhood.
Born and bred in New England, I am used to long, hot summers punctuated with a few rainy days and pop-up thunderstorms. In my childhood, autumns, with their vivid foliage, were followed by cold, snowy winters. I remember a time when the first frost came in October and we had snow by Thanksgiving. One particularly snowy winter my brother had to grab a shovel and drop off the porch roof into a deep drift, shovel his way round to the garage doors (no electric overheads in those days), and shovel away the snow that had piled up three feet or more so my dad could get the car out. Today, the 4th of December, it is 50 degrees, the sun is warm, the breeze is barely cool and the confused forsythia bush in my yard is putting forth its second set of blossoms!

We who like to garden know a good snow cover is needed to insulate tender roots from the penetrating and damaging frost. Snow is often called the poor man's fertilizer, especially if it comes mid-spring once the ground has begun to thaw. Snow contains nitrogen and moisture, both essential to the health of emerging plants. If the predictions of a rainy winter in our area hold, even we poor folks won't be getting our fertilizer this winter.

So, please, please let it snow!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Old Dog, New Tricks
I have to learn Wordpress in order to build a website for a non-profit organization on whose board of directors I sit. Wondering if you would help me out by hopping on over to to read and perhaps leave a comment so I can play with the features. I won't be replacing this blog. I just need navigation practice. Thanks!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Between Seasons

This was taken last year after the first snowfall. 

A tarnished pewter sky
peers through leafless branches
fog drifts and curls,

along the riverbanks and
hovers above the water,
where half a dozen geese float—

six dark shadows that
appear and disappear
as if they, too, were

only mist and imagination.
The last forlorn light
leaches from the afternoon.

Suspended between seasons
the days grow short.
The old year draws to a close

as though feeling its age.
Everything slows, quiets, fades,
until it seems the dreary days

will never end. Snow sweeps in,
making art of the drab browns,
the cheerless grays,

weighting the sad, dead grasses,
frosting every branch and twig
until the landscape looks luminous,

even on sunless days.
When it does shine, oh! the brilliance
of it, the dazzling radiance.

There is beauty in the passing
of one season to the next,
even in grim November.