“There is more to life than increasing its speed” -Ghandi
It has been a busy and exhausting couple of months. Losing a family member suddenly and without warning brings life to a sudden stop. Everyday tasks, schedules, work responsibilities and other commitments come to a grinding halt. You persevere, forge on and take care of what needs to be with the best you can give to such situations. But this is not what this posting is about. It is about enjoying Christmas for a few days more.
Christmas was just two short days ago and already I am seeing social media postings about taking down the tree and putting all decorations away. It is no different that seeing the same kind of postings in November only the opposite-who is getting their tree up and putting lights on the outside of homes. My first thought was this: “Why can’t we enjoy Christmas for a few days more?” It all comes to a finality on December 26th. Yes, it is done, over with for another year. And then I read the quote above by Gandhi and wonder why the rush to take it all down? I do realize that it is necessary due to personal preferences and time constraints. Two years ago, Christmas had to end for us on December 26th as a emergency kitchen floor renovation needed to begin on December 27th. And it was depressing, I will admit to see everything packed up and done for another year.
You see, I live in a small town nestled against the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. I live where the biggest star in the world ( historical fact) shines from the Saturday after Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. It’s light shines for miles in all directions. The Bright Star of Palmer Lake has shone each holiday season for 82 years. (Please see about the Star in the book titled ‘Bright Star of Palmer Lake’ available on Amazon.) It does not shut off on December 26th just because Christmas is over and neither does my Christmas lights.
Photo by Aaron Jurka, Mountain Tapestry Press, LLC
I want to extend the memories of Christmas for just a few more days. Yes, they will be held in our hearts and minds for years to come. I want the quiet moments of drinking cups of tea and become absorbed into a new book that was a Christmas gift. I have no need or desire to do post-Christmas sales. But this year, it is the moments of memories that were made by family and friends that I do not want to rush away.
In the closing days of December and all of 2017, quiet reflection and slowing down for a few moments can do wonders. There is time to pack up Christmas and turn to normalcy but I don’t want to hurry it up just because others are doing so. In the poem “Waiting for Christmas”, I believe I convey the quietness of the winter season:
A Walk in Wintered Woods
Almost evening, the winter sunlight fades
through darkened aspen and pine.
The tranquility of two white tailed deer
grazing through snow is interrupted
by the creaking of branches in a brisk,
twenty degree December wind.
The silent flight of a hawk disappears;
only to pop back into my view as it circles
over the mountains blanketed in thick, quilted snow.
There is no path here; the wintered woods
lie ahead in deep shadows.
I stand still listening to this land call out
its life to me; the woodland loner now
warmed with the peaceful wonder of falling snowflakes
upon my Christmas mittens.
This poem, written and published in my first poetry collection titled ‘Journey On: Beauty and Grit Along the Way, is accompanied by a translation into Latvian.
I awake in the Christmas dawn light;
a shimmering snowfall
echoes upon the mountains.
Through parted curtains,
my curious eyes follow
a shaking of snow
from pine needled branches.
An opera of sun slowly takes over;
erasing long blue gray shadows.
We lie under the soft warmth
of the red plaid comforter,
meeting the moment
of a gentle and tender us.
Es pamostos Ziemassvētku ausmas gaisma;
spīdīgs sniegputenis atbalsojas kalnos.
Ar šķīrušiem aizkariem, manas interesantas acis seko
sniega raupšana no priedes adatas zariem.
Saules lāva pārņem opera;
dzēšot garas zilas pelēkas ēnas.
Mēs gulējam zem sarkanā pleds mierīgā siltā siltuma,
satikties ar maigu un maigu mirkli.
The storm arrives without warning,
fury consumes hurt, suddenly casting
a dark shroud across our blue skies,
over the angry sea, gray like wet slate.
Even at a safe distance, we can no longer protect
our moors from being thrashed upon
by tempestuous surf, uninvited to our private beach.
We do not have the strength and courtesy
to hold on to threadbare ghosts of our years.
Once tender now lies tossed,
heaped in a corner of tattered pain.
Traveling down broken and divided roads,
our backs turned, hearts chilled;
we walk away from mornings that once were,
to mornings that will never be the same again.
This poem needs no explanation. It was written almost twenty years ago and has not seen the light of day as it has been kept in my files all this time. It is a relevant one I feel…just as it was when it was written back in 1998. It is a common story, more common than we want to admit. It is probably one of the saddest and realistic poems I have ever written. I do not wonder where this “broken crayon” is now. On any given day in our streets, in a store or at a movie theater, “broken crayons” are everywhere…
Perfect father, paint-brushed mother,
living in a palette of water-colored dreams
diluted by lost expectations, assumed possibilities,
ignore muffled sobs
within the imperfect child they left
to flourish beneath the guise of contentment.
The carefree boy leaves scribbles on a wall
next to the closed kitchen door.
The angry teen leaves muddy footprints
on polished hardwood floors;
resolves to shatter the whitewashed mask,
covering up a proper upbringing.
He shrugs between the spoken and the unsaid,
suppressing reasons why he’s flawed.
Crying in a tunnel of his own fabrication,
he sits cross-legged on shards
of broken crayons.
A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sailaway from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain
The poetry of ineptitude.
Blurring the lines between poetry and prose
by Lize Bard
Official Blog of the English Tea Store
Serving a little poetic nourishment every morning. Start your day with our new expanded menu. Poems, of course, are our specialty. But we will also be serving a fuller menu that includes poetry book reviews to feed poets' and poetry lovers' souls.