In this place, where, on the last day of December,
the sun sets directly behind those trees over there
on the other side of the lake and I return
to tell the year goodbye, it is raining. Oh, the sun
will still set and right in the same place, too.
But by then, it will be dark on this shore,
given the thickness of the clouds. So I came
early. What are a few hours to an entire year?
It’s soft here, in the rain, and my heart is full
of memories and blessings for all that the year,
now so quickly passing, held in its sweep of days.
Faces. Hands. Words. Trees. Birds and the
entire kingdom of animals, even the bugs.
The wondrous procession of flowers.
Clouds, even these, hiding the New Year’s Eve
sunset. And the sun itself and its companion
stars and all the weather. Births and deaths, of course.
Wounds and healing. Disappointments
and mirth. Steps forward; fallings back.
And every single day a miracle,
tens of thousands of them if you count
the beating of your heart, the breath
flowing in and out your lungs.
I give these back to you, passing year,
as an offering of thankfulness
as you slip silently away in this soft
December rain. Farewell.
We escaped the brunt of the storm.
Only its lacy hem brushed our hills
as it swept by, heading northeast.
A dusting, they call it. Barely enough
to cover the ground, frost the pines,
enough to delight and make us say,
“Look. Isn’t that pretty?”
as we peer from our warm kitchen
windows. We, after all, can take a mere broom
to it and watch it sparkle as we sweep,
Leaving the heavy equipment and bags
of salt in the garage for yet another day.
This is a simple freshening snow,
looking for all the world like
the frozen laughter of stars.
Night creeps up the hillside,
hauling, no doubt, snowflakes
and stars. The evening blushes
and takes a final bow—red hills,
pastel skies—glad that it’s leaving
the day in such fine hands.
Jack was here. He couldn’t stay,
but he left a note. Said he was sorry
he’d missed me, said that he’s swing by
again as soon as he could. He hoped
it wouldn’t be too long. He loved,
he said, to see my smile when I greeted
him in the morning. Same to you, Jack.
I’ll be keeping an eye out for you.
Between snows, the sun,
as if in acknowledgment
of our gladness at its return,
warms the air and melts the skim ice
on the pond. Through the pines,
its rays fall golden as the day
drifts away. I scoop up the colors
of this moment and fold them
into my heart as a reminder
of the way that joy stitches itself
into the quiet of winter days
On the day after Christmas it rains.
It seems a kind of blessing somehow,
a relief after all the tinsel and lights,
the chaos of colors and sounds, as if
the Yes knew we needed a rest.
So it tones things down, slides us
back toward normalcy, leaving us
the quiet grace of trees in winter rain.
May all your Christmas prayers be answered,
and all your best dreams come true.
May joy sparkle all your days,
Love flower always in your heart,
And may you live in harmony and peace.
Imagine the comfort . . .
of truly being seen, of fully being known,
and loved, infinitely and endlessly, anyway.
Imagine a tiny light . . .
right there, in the center of your heart,
warming, growing, until
your whole being shimmered
Imagine finding a truth . . .
so pure and whole, so solid and transcendent all at once
that it could not be denied.
Imagine a peace . . .
so rich and full inside you that nothing
could stand or argue against it,
regardless of the world’s events.
Imagine that all you had to do
was accept the proffered hand
and whisper, “Yes.”
At five o’clock in the afternoon,
I stand at the lake’s edge in the fading
light of dusk, reminding myself that,
in our circling dance around the sun,
our globe has reached its farthest tilt.
A handful of seconds at a time, the days
are now stretching longer. And so
I savor this dusk, with its cool, quiet
colors. The air I breathe enters me
cold, and returns warmed. I think
of the fish sleeping beneath the waters,
their silver bodies keeping their own time,
and the resting trees, who known a silence
of their own. Regardless of the stillness,
it is very alive here I think. Christmas
is at our door. If you listen very carefully
you can hear it coming, its quickening
energy whispering everywhere. I stand
here in the dusk at the lake, feeling
the holiness of it all, breathing its joy,
enveloped in its wonder.
As if some heavenly visitor was stopping by,
the woodland shimmered with gold, despite
the cold and frozen air, despite the overcast sky.
And through the silence a sweet song rose,
a song of celebration. It told of the kindness
and friendship and love that transcends
the limits of time, of the light and the life
of the Infinite Yes, beneath all and in all,
breathing the worlds into being. And the song
went forth to touch the hearts of all, singing,
“You are dearly loved, sweet children
You are known, and dearly loved.”