Tonight, whether cloudy or clear…

I love the way a note begins with Dear…

I love the way there is magic in the air in the days before Christmas. I love the way people suddenly smile because on my head there are red velvet antlers adorned with tiny bells. I love the way the letter from Francis Church, the editor of The Sun, to little Virginia O’Hanlon fills my heart with believing. I love the way it feels to hold a pen in hand and write to Santa….

Where do you begin when you don’t know where to begin? How do you give a gift to someone you don’t know? It takes me ages to write because I pause often and go back over my words trying to get them just so, for the heart of them to shine through. This early morning with the moon shining and the tree alight nearby I’m simply going to write to you….and try ever so hard not to look back…

Late at night on Christmas Eve I set out a Nativity Tray. It is the last touch of Christmas for me. It is an English medieval custom that I learned about in Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book, Simple Abundance. She states…

“Legend has it that on the night of the Nativity, whosoever ventures out into great snows bearing a succulent bone for a lost and lamenting hound, a wisp of hay for a shivering horse, a warm cloak for a stranded wayfarer, a garland of berries for one who has worn chains, a dish of crumbs for all huddled birds who thought their song was dead, and sweetmeats for little children who peer from lonely windows – whosoever prepares this simply abundant tray, shall be proffered and returned gifts of such an astonishment as will rival the hues of the peacock and the harmonies of heaven.”

So, it is that I quietly gather the best I have to offer and arrange it on my grandmother’s tray. I carry it beneath the stars to set it in its place. I look up into the night sky whether cloudy or clear and send all my love and best wishes to those who rest in my heart…known and unknown.

I have been reading Simple Abundance for so many years that the cover is worn from handling. There are dated pencil marks all through it, notes I’ve made to myself. Here, the birthday of a friend. There, a date I will never forget. Stars and check marks and all manner of special remembrances.

Sarah’s writing has broadened my world and blessed me over and again. Through her, I discovered one of my favorite books of all time, Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Next is Elizabeth von Arnim. It took me ages to find her book, Elizabeth and Her German Garden, but it was ever so worth it. And I, myself began to write more because of Ms. Ban Breathnach’s encouragement. She and I have never met as authors and readers so seldom do. Nevertheless, she has become a beautiful part of my days.

Bo is my lost and lamenting hound. He arrived on Christmas morning a few years ago, hungry and alone…searching… He found my Nativity tray. He devoured everything that was edible and a few bits that weren’t. Then he dashed by the window and I thought – what was that?! I bundled up against the cold and went out to see… there was Bo. He came to my side and has never left.

There are so many inspiring thoughts in my heart this morning. There is the girl I don’t know. I heard her story a few days ago and quickly found myself at her age in it. I did only a small thing for her that was in my grasp to do. There are those who won’t be given the time off that their loving efforts deserve. There are those who at the moment have not and cannot for themselves. There are those who help them. There are those who have lost and there are who are lost. And, of course there are the little ones.

I find myself in each of them… Although I have not traveled their path, I have been in so many of those places.

Have you ever read Cannery Row by John Steinbeck? Have you ever donned your best dress to deliver chicken soup….lived in unlivable spaces….gone silent with wondering….captured a kazillion frogs….tried a beer milkshake….been surprised by a poem…have you?

I was so intrigued by the beer milkshake that I couldn’t stand it. I had to try it! I wouldn’t want a steady diet of them but all in all, not bad really. Even now…I recall turning the page and there was the ancient love poem…Black Marigolds. It was new to me. I was mesmerized…

What I really love about the story is this, that there are so many ways to Be in this world. They all look different and that’s ok. Steinbeck does the telling of it far more justice than I do. You should read him for yourself.

I was afraid to come here. WordPress, that is. I have no experience with social media. I have never been on Facebook or twitter or anything else. So, I was very unsure of this unknown space, the ways of it and those who share it.

I had a terrible time trying to decide on what to name my site…and then, what was ok to write on it! Along came your kindness and your welcoming of me…my heart was touched. It was so hard for me to imagine that anyone would care to read my thoughts. But there you were, reading anyway.

And here entered the world of comments and emojis which I confess, were another stumbling block for me. You may not realize it but, I take as much care with my comments and my thank you’s as with my posting. I want you to know how much your time and thought mean to me. I’m certain I mess up plenty. Each time I hope to do better, to get it right….

This place has become a gift to me, as much as The Little Prince or Gift from the Sea or Sarah Ban Breathnach, one that I could never have imagined for myself. You are a beautiful part of my days with pencil marks of remembrance in the margins. You show me all the faces of kindness. You broaden my horizons. You encourage me to write. You inspire me…you touch my heart and I am humbly grateful.

Tonight, I will carefully prepare the tray as I always do. I’ll carry it quietly to its place. I will gaze into the night sky whether cloudy or clear…into the lovely heart of nowhere…and I will send my love and best wishes to you…even now my thoughts turn to that moment and I am mesmerized…

Wherever you are and whatever you celebrate know that my thoughts are with you for peace and joy in all things in all your days.

with love,

suzanne ❤️

Early morning December 24, 2018

My Dear Brave Knight

Bravely He set out to play

A questing Knight on a summer’s day

With rope he tied his wagon to the brightest daytime star

A rolled up map to guide him on his journey far

There were dots and dashes and so much more

X marked the spot of buried gems galore

The wagon was empty

The Knight hadn’t a care

Only to wander and to search

All that was out there

He discovered a stone from the castle of Arthur

An arrow from Robin Hood’s bow

Even the Captain’s hook that Peter took

When he was young and bold

And so many more besides them

At the very least forty and four times four

He marked the map with this and that

Each time to the wagon he added a prize

That very first X…

The one that marked the pirate’s private spot…

Soon it was hidden amongst so many others

And his wagon was heavy

With all he had collected along the way

And the Knight was lost

Surrounded by forest

In the heat of the summer

And nary a breeze

Only the hum of cicadas stirring the trees

With weary arms and downcast eyes

He paused for a spell

In the dragons shadow that long ago fell

Silence descended

What would He do

Dwarves and giants

Threatened his quest

The great unknown would never let him rest

A lone leaf from overhead

Drifted through the air

Coming to rest upon the ground

And with it a notion he discovered

A plan did now appear

His eyes burned with excitement

The fire he did not fear

He must climb the mountain

Search the horizon far and wide

And know the way that called to him

From somewhere deep inside

The map with all its marks was useless to him now

The wagon laden with objects of the past

Was nothing but a burden on this new journey that He faced

Each thing must be left behind like an X upon the parchment

If He would reach the pinnacle

And begin to find his truth

So, bravely He set out to play

A questing Knight on a summer’s day

One step at a time

His tired legs did climb

Leaving the map and the path…

Letting go…

Of the castle stone

…the mighty staff

…the protective cloak

And oh so very much more…

Until, at last he reached the very top

Looking over all the way that He had come

His wagon long empty now

Light as a feather in the fading sun…

Yet his heart was overflowing

Eyes open and searching below

As a smoky mist curled up high

Marking an X in the evening sky

There was the treasure!

So true and so prized

Heart racing wildly

He jumped in the wagon

Pushed off with his feet

He steered with great care

Down the face of the mountain

Quickly he sped….

As It all flew passed him

Every great moment

That lead to this one here and now

The darkest forest

…raging seas

….wisdom of silence

……..knowing breeze

Then…

His wagon slowed and stopped

Before the waiting door

Wide and joyfully it opened

To He…so brave…

And there waited She….

She who gathered him to herself

As the treasure that He was

In a sweet embrace

And a gentle kiss to his dirt smudged face

How I’ve missed you So

My dear brave knight

While you have been so long away

Tell me…

Wherever did you go

Whatever did you see

On this fine fine summer’s day

And He began to tell the tales

Of the beastly and magical moments won

As She listened and loved

And loved and listened

Well beyond the setting of the summer sun…

****

ellie894 December 18, 2018

you always know why

Have you ever noticed how the loveliest things have no real beginning

Or at least not one that you recall

It’s as though they always were…

And never were not…

Once upon a forever fireflies sparkled in a dear night sky

Even now I can see them dancing before us

Tiny stars, you told me

They left the heavens to embrace we two

In a playful magic rarely known

And so we find ourselves here again

Hand in hand at the dusk of a long long day…

Are you hungry, you ask

I only smile in return

You know why

You always know why

Me too, with a wink and a whisper you softly reply

The offer of your strong and gentle arm

And off we go in search of our enchanting corner

Almost as cozy and warming

As your touch upon my skin

I like it best when the space is nearly empty

With only a candle between us

We have it all to ourselves

Inviting soft exchanges

And lingering gazes…

Let us then venture from our blazing hearth

Closing the door in sweet knowing

That soon enough we shall return…

For now we journey outward

Pausing…where no one else in the whole wide world would notice

I love this place

Soft graffiti swirls tangle in brilliant confusion

I tighten my hand in yours

You know why

You always know why

Hidden among the cherry reds and the lime greens

Of an artist’s dream gone wild

Our own initials are tucked safely in an inky heart

I like to reach my fingers out to them as we pass

Recalling another firefly moment

When in silly tenderness

I bade you stop and turn around

Don’t peek, I teased

You knew why

You always know why

I could feel you smiling behind me

As I carved us forever into being

Then you held me close to your heart and

Loved me for it

I like that part best of all…

And so this eve under a soon to be firefly sky

As we slowly make our way

I tighten my hand in yours

Asking, may we pause

You know why

I love the way you always know why…

****

ellie894 December 8, 2018

Rose

I am sweetly inspired by so very many things. Please visit Val at Colouring the Past to see the photo that settled in my thoughts and inspired this….

https://colouringthepast.com/2018/11/24/young-woman-standing/

I was named by my father,

He so loved to give my mother roses

To see her smile…

With a softened gaze and a silent sigh

I look afar to a place others cannot see

I do recall the sweetest words

Of last evening whispered true

Am lost in the hope of what may one day be

My unruly chestnut tresses gathered up

The best that I can manage

Still they loosen and escape

Blurring at the edges

Much the way my heart does

Longing so to fly

My anxious hands held tight behind

Hiding sweet anticipation

Are you nearing now my love

How much longer must I wait

The ivory pinned close at heart

A cherished gift of our last goodbye

And safe within the locket

At home upon my breast

The smile of my beloved

Doth ever and always rest

****

ellie894 December 1, 2018