The First Evening of the New Year: Quiet Blessings Live On in a Journal

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                                                                                                                                            Every New Year’s Day, I have followed a tradition from my grandmother and mother of opening up a new and fresh journal filled with welcoming pages for events, thoughts, poems, memorabilia and daily musings. This evening was no different. My 2017 journal is now filled with what came our way each day of the past 52 weeks. There are many good things that filled this journal and some not so great. We weathered them and came out on the other side of each one. Some are still in progress such as having a nephew still in South Korea serving his country, grieving off the loss of a sibling, and new baby on the way for my nephew and his wife and a wedding in the coming year.  The good things outweighed the bad although with the world the way it is, the way our country has become and the way natural disasters made a swath of tragedy in the West and South did not take away daily quiet blessings. Often, it was sometimes hard to see quiet blessings prevail, but they did. At times when it becomes a struggle to see light, we must create our own. I hope I have. Whether it is a lighted snow village on my dining room table, or helping a young writer with her dream to write, light comes through little by little-and it endures.

In the dark days of winter that are coming, we have memories of all the good, and the light behind them. I can only say this: That everyone has done their hardest and their best. The love here among us all stays and stays strong.  This is the most important  New Year’s intention or as some call it resolution that truly matters to me. It is not on a to do list to be accomplished…it is ongoing. Quiet blessings and welcome to a new year and a new light in 2018.

Christmas Dawn

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.
 

Christmas Dawn 
 
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. 

 
 

Ziemassvētku Ausma 

(Latvian) 

 

Es pamostos Ziemassvētku ausmas gaisma; 

spīdīgs sniegputenis atbalsojas kalnos. 

Ar šķīrušiem aizkariemmanas 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. 

I Won’t Leave You

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DSCN3834This poem first appeared in Journey On : Beauty and Grit Along the Way published in 2012. It has since undergone revision and will appear in the upcoming poetry collection titled Winter’s Call.

 

 I Won’t Leave You

You and I have many dusty roads still to walk together,

and blood red sunrises we have not seen

sitting side by side on a quiet beach.

There are many seashells

not picked up; memories not yet made.

We know the hope of a radiant summer morning,

and the deep peace of midnight stars.

 

We have laughter to remember, tears to brush away;

taking in the scent of rain on the wind and hay in a far off meadow.

In soft December while the snow falls draping the mountains,

we stroll alongside together, you clasping my hand,

as more colors appear…

leaving none behind.

Remnant

A very special poem from my poetry collection Journey On: Beauty And Grit Along the Way. It was one of those poems that came to me so easily…I love when writing a poem can actually be almost effortless. This one was:

Remnant

You found me alone,
yearning for the summer’s moon
and encircled me like a wraparound porch.
Drawing me close, you took my pain and fears
and welcomed them in.
You came and stayed in my heart
giving love with yours.

You are gone, but your love remains,
like the remnant of an old soft blue sweater
hung nearby on a peg by the back door,

waiting for the wearer to return home.

Anna Blake Godbout's photo.

I am greeting September with a quiet poem for my readers. The bustle of summer is now past. Here in Colorado our mornings begin with chilled autumn like temperatures. Spots of orange are appearing on the scrub oak and the aspens are tinged with golden on their tips of their leaves. So now make a cup of vanilla almond tea, settle in and read from the Journey On Collection Listening for My Name. I thank you for reading my words.

 

Listening for My Name

 
You returned with mysteries forgiven
a gentle cover of darkness surrounded
me with the wonder of anticipation.

You became yourself once more
someone long forgotten, this time promising
never to be lessened by fear again.

Inner stirrings beckoned for you
beneath my hidden need.
And then, you began to give
while I began to take with delicious breath.

Beyond the window pane the rains fell,
the thunder moved in from far off distances.
You gathered me in like fog clinging to a river,
refreshing sleep whispered this gift
as moonlight drifted through brushed away clouds.

In the quiet days and nights of winter to come,
I will turn to you,
and listen for my name.

I Stop the Questioning

Before February gets by us, I want to share this poem about a moment in time filled with an enduring memory.  As the snows falls and the wind blusters by, a woman with her warm comforts of tea and a charming music box from Germany fills her afternoon…

 
Each February I remember the fragile note,
kept safe in the music box imported from Germany.
Unfolding the faded and creased parchment,
I read his words in soft murmurs
while waiting for the old teapot to whistle.
My aging hands are cold and less nimble;
but my mind fights the weathering years.
Scrawled in pale blue ink, he wrote:
 
“My dearest valentine
I beg you, live well and laugh often.
Bouquets fade and dry,
Godivas digest,
ahh…but love…love…
think of me and smile.”
 
I gently refold each crease and put away
the only thing he left me.
Still, I ask myself each year since his passing,
were they written out of guilt or obligation?
Sipping Earl Grey tea on this bittersweet afternoon,
it was easier to believe in love.
 
What is a wintry day in February like for you? Can you identify with the woman in this verse?  Your thoughts and comments are most welcome!  Thank you for reading this posting of I Stop the Questioning.

 

Late Afternoon in Early Winter

The wood stove fire burns slowly,
warmth seeps into ridges of a red fleece blanket
that adorns my shivering shoulders.
Outside the snow softly falls,
swirls of silver and white cover
autumn into bare branched silence.

North winds howl,
white tailed deer scrape snow on their tongues
on a late afternoon in early winter.
Caught in high country silence,
I sit and wonder, will we ever dance together again,
one more time embrace
the soft rustlings of our mountain love.

The late afternoon begins to dim;
Night fall trails and gives way to the gray violet of snowy dusk.
I listen for your voice to echo down the high country ridge;
a gesture of your long awaited return home.
Outside the mountain settles into an early winter,
the deer and I wait for December snows to end,
and the passes to clear,
and embrace the pale glimmer of morning.