Cookies and ginger bread houses are being baked. The lights are on the tree. As much as I enjoy our fully decorated old fashioned tree, there's something about the simplicity of lights only that I find appealing. It may have to do with the number of times I read Peter Pan when I was younger, or how much I miss seeing fireflies on Summer evenings.
Christmas tree, lights and angel only
Photo by J. Harrington
While researching some details about next month's Winter solstice, I stumbled onto what look like some useful ways to celebrate it. I'm definitely going to try number 1 and probably 2. Maybe more, depending on how ambitious I get. It's not that there haven't been lots of good things happening this past year, more like my dreams keep exceeding my accomplishments. In case you're curious, here's what Robert Browning has written about that (a man's reach...).
Taylors Falls public library entrance
Photo by J. Harrington
As we were leaving the Taylors Falls Lighting Festival Friday evening, the band was playing John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Happy Christmas, (War Is Over). Each year I hear that song somewhere and each year the lyrics about "and what have you done" make me wish I had done more the prior year. It's another version of Mary Oliver's question that ends her poem The Summer Day:
"Tell me, what is it you plan to doThis seems to be the time of year I usually try to find a better answer to that question. As I get older I've noticed that, although my answers improve, they don't do so as quickly as my awareness grows of just how precious all life on this earth is. Robert Louis Stevenson has this advice that helps judge accomplishments:
with your one wild and precious life?"
"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reapI noticed it in the gift shop while we were tree shopping and I'm going to practice it for the balance of this year and try for a full application next.
but by the seeds that you plant."
A cold night crossesour pathThe world appearsvery large, veryround now extendingfar as the moon doesIt is fromthe moon this cold travelsIt isthe light of the moon that causesthis night reflecting distance in its ownlight so coldly(from one side ofthe earth to the other)It is the length of this coldnessIt is the long distancebetween two points which arenot in a line nownot astraightness (howeverstraight) but a curve only,silver that is a rock reflectingnot metalbut a rock acceptingdistance(a scream in silencewhere between the twopoints what touchesis a curve around the world(the dance unmoving).new york, 1969
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