Wednesday, December 19, 2012


return of the light

Happy winter solstice everyone, it's coming up very soon, and the world will turn toward the light once again.  And happy birthday to me, today.  Here I sit at age 45 with more gray hair than ever before and a lap full of blessings I will count like early valentines.  Twenty sweet years with Ryan.  Our loving peaceful home.  An animal companion who reminds me how to live in the moment, dear Hodge.  Two businesses that are more than just businesses, they are vocations, and I love them for it - painting, bookselling.  Little gardens sleeping under coverlets of fresh snow.  A new nephew on the way, soon.  A niece about to set out on a great adventure.  I want to celebrate all of this and so much more.  The difficult things, the dark things, people and situations I wish were so different, I hold in my heart too, and try to surround them with light.

In our home we celebrate Christmas, this is how I was raised, and as I've mentioned before, my middle name is Noël, so this time of year means a lot to me.  But my family encompasses a broad range of belief systems.  We count among our numbers a pagan, a few mystics, a faerie, a Catholic, many Episcopalians, a few Congregationalists, a pantheist (that would be me), and more.  All that is to say, there is room here for all, whatever you celebrate, or even if you don't celebrate.  Here is a chickadee nesting among the holiday lights and winter reading, in our living room, just for good cheer:   

The little tiny book by the lantern is George Washington's Rules of Civility.  I keep it handy in case of company.  "As written by Washington during childhood into his 1745 notebook," it contains a numbered list of such helpful reminders as "48th Wherein you reprove Another be unblameable yourself"; "65th Speak not injurious Words neither in Jest nor Earnest, Scoff at none although they give Occasion"; "79th Be not apt to relate News if you know not the truth thereof"; and my very favorite, last on his list and so very important, this time of year and always, "110th Labour to keep alive in your Breast that Little Spark of Celestial fire called Conscience."  The sparks in the woodstove remind me of this, daily.  

Many and joyful years Sarah!
Happy birthday, dear Sarah.

As it is your birthday AND Christmas time, a little something from Christopher Morley seems very appropriate.

On Reading Aloud

ONCE we read Tennyson aloud
In our great fireside chair;
Between the lines my lips could touch
Her April-scented hair.

How very fond I was, to think
The printed poems fair,
When close within my arms I held
A living lyric there!
Antony dear, many thanks and the same to you!

Anon, people are "living lyrics," aren't they... Morley is always in my thoughts this time of year, masquerading as "John Mistletoe."
Happy birthday, Sarah, and a happy Christmas to you and the people you love. Kathleen
And the same to you, dear Kathleen. I hope Santa brings you a lot of books. ;O)
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