Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

The perfect snow

December 27, 2007

The perfect snowfall is something like this:

You tuck yourself into bed and pull the down comforter up around your ears. You fall asleep.

At some point in the night, you awaken briefly. The world is silent, totally silent, that peculiar silence that only comes with a heavy snowfall. You smile to yourself and go back to sleep.

Somewhat later, you awaken. The skies have cleared while you were sleeping, and a full moon is in the sky. The unusual brightness in the windows tells you that everything is white outside. You go back to sleep.

In the morning, you awaken to find the sun shining and the landscape covered in white. It’s pristine–no footprints, no cars moving. The fir branches are drooping with the weight of this heavy magical snow.

You perk and pour a cup of hot coffee, put on parka and boots, and step outside into the magic.

You don’t have to go to work. All day you play in the snow, admiring its the alien landscape. Then you go to bed.

The next morning you wake to find that all the snow is melted and the world is back to normal–no slush, no dirt, no nasties. The snow has come, and it has gone just as quickly.

This is the perfect snowfall. We didn’t get one.

Instead we’ve had 15-20 serious hailstorms in the last couple of days. The ground is white, but it’s white with ice. The road is slippery. The paths are slippery and crunch under your feet.

But the lentil soup (made with leftover prime rib, no less) is simmering on the stove and bread is warming in the oven. Christmas has once again come and gone. We all survived it. It’s a pretty good evening, snow or no snow.

Hope yours is as nice.

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Thoughts on Christmas Eve, and a poem for you

December 24, 2007

Dear Santa,

It’s difficult to ask for something when you already have so much. So I guess the truth of it is, there’s nothing on my Christmas list this year for me.

But for the last four or five weeks, I’ve recycled about 50 pounds of advertisements a week. Despite the fact that I read them thoroughly, I was unable to find the things I’d like to give my friends. So let me instead make a list of things I hope you bring the people I care about. (If you want to broaden the task and give them to other people, too, that’s OK by me.)

I’d like my friends to have the following:

  • A measure of the peace and joy I find in this wonderful place I live. Today is calm and bright, a welcome break from the wind and 15 inches or so of rain we’ve had this month.
  • The luxurious pleasure of living in the moment. There’s something about having the time to listen to birdsong and the rush of water in the river and assorted culverts that’s priceless. Maybe that’s why I can’t find it for sale anywhere.
  • The warmth of a woodstove with lots of dry wood. If it’s a cookstove, so much the better for baking and roasting.
  • Freedom from war. I hope some day someone solves this issue. I seriously doubt it will be in my lifetime, but I can always hope.

I know you’ll come through for me Santa, but in the meantime, I’ll just leave my friends with a gentle reminder that there’s a lot more to Christmas than decorations and presents.

There Are Many Ways to Have a Happy Christmas

For thirty-three winters, the end of December
I’ve placed and trimmed a corner Christmas tree,
A noble fir.  These ornaments remember
Other people, other times, great glee,
Glad tidings of grandchild to come, the warmth
Of laughter, music in the fragrant air,
A yule log blazing brightly at the hearth,
Cedar scented boughs, the candles’ flare.

This December, my corner has only debris
From building a house, not finished, not by far.
The ornaments remain in boxes, and the tree
Has not been cut, stands with others regular
Along the road.  The skies clear, and I see
Above each treetop, God has placed a star.

Merry Christmas to all of you reading this, whether you celebrate it or not.

Hugs, Marianne

(Updated 12/25 with format corrections)