I watch the falling snow
The whirling edges
Sparkle into night
Windblown fingers grasp
The naked branches
Cavorting in the light.
Endless snowflakes fall
Like ageless dancing angels
Heeding winter’s flight
I am making shortbread
Cutting small shapes just right
Wishing you were standing near
As you do in every year
Judging the sugary cookies a delight.
Anticipation is something we experience even before our first memories are formed. This story is a revisit of happier times…to be mindful that there is meaning, wonder and even worth in the waiting.❤️
It started out innocently, the first year I was old enough buy a gift for him with my own money. As the oldest child, I felt I had done something that reeked of specialness, of significance. That first Christmas sweater was grey. It had large buttons and a cable knit design that my mother loved to knit when she was not mothering eight children. Boxed and wrapped, I placed it under the tree in high anticipation of its appreciation. (Mom said so.)
Here I must point out that my Dad was taciturn in personality. Christmas was the one time of the year that he broke from that self-imposed formalness and actually seemed to be more jovial. He ate chocolates and played games, and joined in the fun. When someone squealed to him that there was a present for him under the tree from me, he made a huge production of it. That long, drawn out week before Christmas morning, He would pick the present up as he sat in his favorite recliner chair by the tree and shake it gently…trying to guess the contents.
Was it a violin? I giggled and shook my head, no. A wallet then…boxed to fool him? I refused to answer. He would have to wait for Christmas like the rest of us. Then disaster struck. Christmas Eve had finally arrived and Mom was brewing up a batch of spiced hot cider in the kitchen. My younger siblings and I were stringing popcorn garlands for the tree. Dad reached down, picking up the package that had become a nightly ritual and looking at me intently in the eye said. “Does it have buttons?”
My face betrayed me. Viewing my crestfallen face, he crowed triumphantly. I was tearful but turned my face away. My surprise was spoiled. Another game he had won. That is another story. He, on the other hand was quite happy with his gift that Christmas morning. For the next ten years, I bought him a Christmas sweater. I never put it under the tree until Christmas Eve.
Each time I would put it in his hands he would look me wickedly in the eye though with his Cheshire cat grin and still try to guess, “Does it have buttons?” Sometimes it had a zipper.
- When Do You Open Christmas Day Or Christmas Eve? [POLL] (k99.com)
- Christmas Recap (callieleighcoker.wordpress.com)
It is the time of year again
I hear the autumn call
In the cool brisk north wind
The whispering willows
Do their thing
Dropping leaves that cover
Things that will not be found
Till spring. And the last birds sing.
Those birds, they sing of everything
They have seen, soaring near and far
Flying high as they return
From whenst they came
Stealing grain, singing of
The journey home again
Slipping away to warmer climes
Life renewed. On the other side.
One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.⠀ Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums⠀
I can identify with Jack. Sometimes in an attempt to find the right words that will allow me to communicate with you, dear readers, I find myself with nothing to say. Nothing. Sometimes that makes my friends and family nervous. Because it’s not that I don’t have words. I have tons of words. Words that weave and dance, that caress and cajole but usually they are more complicated than I wish. I occasionally need to look for simple.
So I went to the sea, Cuba. Sunshine. Sand. Sleep.
I went to the sea today
Raised finger tips
to sun kissed lips
Tasted the salt
Of a thousand tears
Words that have never been heard
Just evaporated, disappeared.
~I feel recharged. We are and then we are not. Simple as that. 💫
“Light is prettiest in the dark.”
A number of years ago I had the pleasure of traveling to Europe. One highlight was a visit to the Rikkmuseum in Amsterdam. There I absorbed the old art by famous painters such as Van Gogh, Vermeer, Marten, Asselijn and Rembrandt. It was a truly delightful experience.
One of the portraits that intrigued me most was the famous piece by Rembrandt named The Night Watch, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1642
Undoubtedly his best-known masterpiece, which is said to have marked a turning point in the artist’s career, takes pride of place in its own gallery. The large-scale painting depicts guardsmen getting into formation, with a young girl in the foreground rumoured to be modelled on Rembrandt’s late wife. The grand space is dedicated to Rembrandt’s vision .
There was seating all around the centre of the room where one can gaze at the painting from various angles. I was struck by the darkness of the room and the picture itself , which was huge along the wall. My gaze centred on the people depicted in front. This was my first introduction to what is called Rembrandt lighting.
Rembrandt lighting was named after of the great master, who often used it in his own portraits. The idea is to create a small inverted triangle of light on the subject’s cheek that is opposite the light source. This is very flattering (especially for people with prominent cheekbone structure) and was often used in old Hollywood portraits. Teachers say that it is important to ensure that you get catch lights in both eyes.
Since then I’ve been mindful of this thought. There’s no wrong in darkness, only a brief departure from the light. To understand the darkness in others, it serves us to know our own darkness. Rembrandt knew his subjects well.
Let’s show ourselves some light. Allow yourself to be inspired to let go of the need to stay in darkness—your entire life isn’t meant to be a struggle, but if you think it is, that’s what it’ll be for you.
The trick isn’t to drown the darkness with light, or to replace the negativity with positivity, but to bring the darkness to the light, like an offering.
This is my offering today to you.❤️
While skimming through some YouTube videos recently I viewed an excerpt from the 1968 motion picture Funny Girl. One of the things that most stood out for me in this movie was the song Barbara Streisand introduced by the name of “People,” often known by the line in the chorus “People, people who need people are the luckiest people in the world”. I still remember that song for many reasons. One of these is the deep-rooted notion that we are never alone in this world, furthermore that we depend on others for more that just mere survival.
People do need people. Together we comprise the real “fabric of our lives.” It is up to us to work with one another in creating unity. By understanding what we share in common, and better defining the boundaries of what makes us different, we can embrace our connectedness and our diversity in the long run. And this affects our own reality, both as individuals, as well as at large. The sooner we come to this realization, the quicker we are able to fall in sync with our life’s purpose and find fulfillment. If we are to survive the challenges of our changing world, we must trust ourselves, open our hearts and bond with others through the real experiences that enrich our spirits. Only then will we rise to the call of our true nature, As the song says “you were half, now you’re whole.” 💝
Today I overheard the term “fabric of life”
Not as a complete sentence, certainly not sure of the context
I think of criss-crossing threads, a cloth of existence
That we can wrap around our selves. An assurance of realness
Soul dressing ©️Vcl
If at the end of the day
If there was a magical way,
That clouds could suck up the fear,
All pain, bloodshed, the tears,
Angry words people say
And carry it on red wings of wind
Beyond the abyss of time
Never to return again
We would celebrate cloudy days.
Photo:Evening Sky~©️Val Letkeman
Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
I was working in my garden today (actually I was playing) when I noticed this butterfly alight on a leaf near me. It looked so pretty, sunlight bouncing off its wings that I stooped in for a closer look and a picture to show others. Truthfully it made me feel happy. How could that be? It wasn’t doing anything special. But it’s very existence was special to me. Butterflies speak of peace and good will. They speak of change, rebirth and happy endings. I had one of those mindful moments. Questions fluttered through my mind.
What has this little butterfly seen of the world in its journeys? Does it think about how important it is to the flowers as it flutters along , pollinating the natural kingdom? I picture it singing a happy tune, and even though it’s life is short I doubt I’d hear a mumbling word of complaint. What would that song sound like? Does it know it’s creator? Could it lead me there? Or do butterflies just soar? Some questions don’t get answered do they? I weave these thoughts, coccooned around my heart as the butterfly flies away.
The day has been long. Night has drawn its shuttered eyes, and I will do likewise. But before I go I leave you with this little Cinquain to ponder❤️ Vcl©️
Tissue white, graceful
Chasing the wind, laughing
Happy little thing
Each Christmas the coniferous trees
Bedecked in their fir finery
on hill or home ~
While the Ash turn ashen in their nudity
The Maple exposed, stands frigidly
No adornment covering in the leafless breeze.
But the stately Spruce and Pine
Shine like the star, spangled
Dispelling darkness ~
Lighting hearts, untangled
Awaiting Christmas bliss
We knowledge our need for this.