Archive | December, 2013

Mistletoe kiss

21 Dec

We’ve done it.  We’ve made it.  Winter solstice.  The year spins, and spring renews the promise to return.

Today I let my thoughts wander over romantic and slightly creepy poetry, with a visual meditation on wild mistletoe found on a winter walk.


by Walter de la Mare

Sitting under the mistletoe
(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),
One last candle burning low,
All the sleepy dancers gone,
Just one candle burning on,
Shadows lurking everywhere:
Some one came, and kissed me there.

Tired I was; my head would go
Nodding under the mistletoe
(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),
No footsteps came, no voice, but only,
Just as I sat there, sleepy, lonely,
Stooped in the still and shadowy air
Lips unseen—and kissed me there.

O Tannenbaum

17 Dec

Another holiday snapshot, to help us through these darkest days of winter.  The beautiful Christmas tree at Bourton-on-the-Water, which we have visited each holiday season in England so far. (Year one. Year two.)


A gentle winter afternoon walk, accompanied by ducks and the occasional brave tourist.  Breathe – soltice is almost here.

That in season grows

12 Dec

Rummaging through photos from last holiday season, I found a few from a winter visit to Shakespeare country.  (It really is my favorite place to visit!)  Here, then, are a few holiday postcards from Shakespeare’s birthplace, and from Anne Hathaway’s cottage.

IMG_3190edCaput apri defero / Reddens laudes Domino

IMG_3192edThe parental bed … with Tudor rat.

IMG_3194edShakespeare’s cradle.  Or something like it.  Fortunately rat-free.

IMG_3198edPrep area in the kitchen.  With another rat.IMG_3226edAt the cottage, there is always an effort to share pieces of Shakespeare’s plays and poems.  Last year, there was a holiday theme.

IMG_3238edThe gardens are put to bed for the winter, but the festive tree was a fun addition to the scene.

The heart of memory

9 Dec

I do try.  I try not to obsess about the days of darkness.  I try to talk about something else … anything else.  I try not to give up and go to sleep at 7pm, because it’s been dark for three hours already and who cares anymore.  I keep making meals for the family, keep wandering through my routines, keep tying myself into to the small knots of details that make up a pattern of life even when it all seems pointless.  I remind myself of days where the sun shone endlessly over green fields.  I remind myself of when the sun was so bright it hurt my eyes and I could fling my arms wide and fold it into my skin.  It seems unfair that even in those summer days, I carried the fear of winter coiled in my heart.  Now that winter has fallen, where is my internal memory of summer, to keep me warm?

IMG_0559edI’m making a deliberate effort to work on my gratitude.  To notice and appreciate the unique experiences and opportunities of living in this country.  Like getting to hang out in Shakespeare’s hometown on my birthday, and contemplate the passing of time with a sundial in his daughter’s garden.

Come what come may, time and the hour run through the roughest day.

God, I hope so.