We arrive at the shortest day. Silence. Stillness. This moment, when I am writing, is the darkness just before the dawn. The year, too, is dawning. Sit in the dark. Feel the empty quiet around you. Breathe in. Breathe out. Holy, holy, holy.
Gratitude List: 1. Laughing with my family. Somebody said last night that they were glad we get to celebrate Winter Stoltzfus together. 2. The long night is over and the day is dawning. 3. There are still many days to become acquainted with the shadows, but the light is returning. 4. How the house lights make the dew sparkle and twinkle. Light and shadow. Light and shadow 5. Now the day begins, the laughter, the clatter, the murmurs, the music the twinkling eyes.
It will fade quietly away
or it will go out in blaze.
It will wander off quietly
into a corner of night,
or it will rattle down the drain,
gurgling as it swirls into the dark.
It will be filled with the quiet murmurings of doves,
the muttering of the last bars of the day’s bird choir,
or it will go out with the shrill whinny of the screech owl,
the screep of the fox, and the whoof of the white-tailed deer.
It will pull the shades of my eyes downward
and fill my brain with fog,
it will draw out my energy
like serum in a syringe.
Gratitude List: 1. I know, daffodils again. But. Outside the school office is a row of creamy daffodils with a buttery center. But in one clump, one daffodil has a bright gold-orange center, just begging for attention.
2. Making and playing Lego Chess with Ellis.
3. Friday morning hymn sing–this remains one of my favorite moments of my week. My colleagues have wonderful voices.
4. The library book sale! I scored lots of classics for my classroom shelves, and some more contemporary young adult novels, too. Jon bought me a copy of Ted Kooser’s Delights and Shadows, which contains this lovely poem, titled “Screech Owl”:
All night each reedy whinny
from a bird no bigger than a heart
flies out of a tall black pine
and, in a breath, is taken away
by the stars. Yet, with small hope
from the center of darkness
it calls out again and again.
5. Delightfully shocking coincidences. At the sale, Jon also bought a book called American Watercolors and a copy of Little Bear’s Friend, by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. As he was poring through the book of water colors, he noticed a painting by Carolyn Brady. In the shadows behind a vase of stunning flowers is a copy of Little Bear’s Friend! What are the chances of that? And not only one of the books we bought would feature a very different book from a very different genre, but that someone would be looking through it that closely, to catch it.
Today’s Poem-A-Day Prompt was to write a poem about night.
I know this is true
because the moon laid her head
in that indigo,
on that blue velvet cushion
of sky. How she sighed for joy.
Gratitude List 1. Michael the archangel is a bluebird. I know this, but it might be a secret.
2. People who understand group process.
3. Semi-permeable boundaries
4. Re-constituting the resume–what a challenging process of self-definition, that one
5. Saints. And sinners.