All the trees are now up. There’s the Grand Fir in the living room, draped with multi-colored lights, and the very tall one with white lights on the entry porch, and two smaller white-lit trees on the front porch and the terrace, and the little miniature cottage in the library, and the mantle lights, the stained glass window with fairy lights in the pantry, and votive candles scattered everywhere. Never mind, that we won’t even be here for Christmas–we are preparing for December’s dark days and nights.
Finally, we’ve had a skiff of snow. It’s still hovering around freezing, down here at the lake, but an Arctic blast is predicted to bring overnight temperatures down into the teens. There’s been ice on our stone steps up to the garage. Great flocks of geese fly across the sky, in search of open water. Winter is on our doorstep, once again.
“One must have a mind of winter…and not to think of any memory in the sound of the wind”, Wallace Stevens writes in his poem, The Snowman. Another December quote I’ve recorded in my journal reads, “Christmas is a time you get homesick, even when you are at home.” It’s so dark, the news out there in the world is so grim, and another year of our life is coming to an end. “December’s eyes grow sad”, writes Beatrice Crane in her ancient poem, December–we need “a torch to light the storm.” Is it any wonder we close the shutters, light the candles, and fill our homes with as much merriment as we can!