It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

christmas tree8 - 1

12.04.18

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!

DECEMBER, by Beatrice Crane
 
Now wildly sweeps the wind,
And wildly drives the sleet,
December fast draws nigh
Wrapped close from head to feet.
 
Her eyes glance restlessly
From shaken tree to plain,
The dark hair neath her head
Is wet with frozen rain.
 
Her funny cloak she holds
With one hand round her form,
The other one lifts high
A torch to light the storm.
 
Scare tree or shrub doth cheer
The dreary scene around,
Save for the moaning wind.
There is no other sound.
 
December’s eyes grow sad
And fainter still her tread;
One hears a long, low sigh
Which tells the year is dead.

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