Friday, January 09, 2015

Under the Weather

We have been sick for the last couple of weeks.  Have been huddled by the woodstove, shuffling in and out to feed the fire, stir up a pot of soup, feed the little fur beasties, curl back up in the recliner...The weather has been so very cold and gray and has not been the least bit enticing ---until today.  It is a gorgeous sunny day, a balmy 30 degrees even, although with some wind.  I would be tempted to go for a run, alas, I'm not a runner :) and tho I am feeling better today, I'm not sure I'm up to battling the wind.  So I think I will finish out this week in the recliner---and hope that next week is more conducive to 'moving about'.  Everyone stay warm and safe.  The days truly are getting a bit longer each day.

Friday, January 02, 2015

I missed a few days of Solstice greetings, but On the Twelfth Day...

"Beneath the snow and cold earth of Winter Solstice hides much, but a clear night allows the bright moonlight to shine down and illuminate everything... It symbolizes nakedness of spirit. On this first day of the new year, let's allow our authentic self to be seen and our naked truth to be revealed without fear or shame. We are beautiful. We are wise. We are luminous. Let's see ourselves clearly and shine our light!
Together, let's continue to honor The 13 Days of Solstice.
"On the twelfth day of Solstice the Goddess gave to me a moonlight revealing, delightful flowing essence, this world of magick, a unique journey, quiet contemplation, countless days of learning, time for the sacred, my hearts desire, a needed cleanse, a peaceful rest, the gift of soul, and some healing to set me free."
May the Solstice and the turning of the wheel bring you love, peace and good fortune today and always."
―The Gypsy Priestess

Thursday, January 01, 2015

January 1, 2015

"January is here, with eyes that keenly glow,
A frost-mailed warrior
striding a shadowy steed of snow."
- Edgar Fawcett

  May this new year bring you healing, laughter, love, abundance, and joy and may you be a conduit for all this to all around you. May you honor Mother Earth and may you bring healing and love wherever you go.  (copied from Shaman Tube)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year's End

As December AND 2014 draw to a close, I sit and wonder 'where did this year go'.   The month of December seems to have been one gray day followed by another gray day.  I can't remember a December that was so filled with varying shades of gray---no snow, not frigid cold, and very little sun to warm house OR bones.  Just varying shades of gray to color the majority of these December days, brightened by the flash of a Cardinal or a Blue Jay or the sweet little Towhees that have dined here during December.

It boggles the mind at how each month flew by so fast that the whole year seems to be a bit blurred.  I know there were momentous occasions throughout the year---some of them seem so distant that they could have happened years ago.

But the days are getting incrementally longer, and Mother Nature continues with her cycles.  All is well as we close the book of 2014.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy Boxing Day and Winter Solstice Day 4

May you awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
May you receive great encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
May you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path.
May the flame of anger free you from falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame and may anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.
May you be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.
- John O'Donohue

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Over the hours of this day of celebration, we share with you our matriarch's poem, Amazing Peace. The Angelou Johnson Family.
“Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem
By Dr. Maya Angelou

...Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.
Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Magical Christmas (and Winter Solstice)

From our house to yours, wishes for a beautiful Christmas.

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields,
that it kisses them so gently?
And then it covers them up snug,
you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says
"Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”~Lewis Carroll...

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Gifts (Winter Solstice Day 2)

Christmas gift suggestions: 

To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
☃ To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
☃ To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.~☃~Oren Arnold
Artist~Catherine Simpson

Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter Solstice Day 1 (of 13)

Cold and dark, this time of year,
the earth lies dormant, awaiting the return
of the sun, and with it, life.
Far beneath the frozen surface,
a heartbeat waits,
until the moment is right,
to spring.

Happy Solstice to All

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Blessings

 The Shortest Day 

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.”

Susan Cooper 1977

Happy Winter Solstice---From Dark to Light

Today is the shortest, darkest day of the year, and tomorrow we will begin creeping into the light again.  What a metaphor for life.  The paradox of life.  Sometimes the saddest days can also be the happiest---sometimes the happiest days can be the saddest.  Tis the Season for a melting pot of emotions.  May we all find a bit of peace and solace in the beauty of the Season. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Cup of Christmas Tea

 A Cup of Christmas Tea
~ By Tom Hegg ~

The log was in the fireplace, all spiced and set to burn.
At last the yearly Christmas race was in the clubhouse turn.
The cards were in the mail, all the gifts beneath the tree
And 30 days reprieve till Visa could catch up with me.

Though smug satisfaction seemed the order of the day,
Something still was nagging me and would not go away.
A week before, I got a letter from my old great Aunt.
It read: "Of course I'll understand completely if you can't,
But if you find you have some time how wonderful if we
Could have a little chat and share a cup of Christmas tea."

She'd had a mild stroke that year which crippled her left side.
Though house bound now my folks had said it hadn't hurt her pride.
They said: "She'd love to see you. What a nice thing it would be
For you to go and maybe have a cup of Christmas tea."

But boy! I didn't want to go. Oh, what a bitter pill
To see an old relation and how far she'd gone downhill.
I remembered her as vigorous, as funny and as bright.
I remembered Christmas Eves when she regaled us half the night.

I didn't want to risk all that. I didn't want the pain.
I didn't need to be depressed. I didn't need the strain.
And what about my brother? Why not him? She's his aunt, too!
I thought I had it justified, but then before I knew
The reasons not to go I so painstakingly had built
Were cracking wide and crumbling in an acid rain of guilt.

I put on boots and gloves and cap, shame stinging every pore
And armed with squeegee, sand and map, I went out my front door.
I drove in from the suburbs to the older part of town
The pastels of the newer homes gave way to gray and brown.

I had that disembodied feeling as the car pulled up
And stopped beside the wooden house
That held the Christmas cup.
How I got up to her door I really couldn't tell . . .
I watched my hand rise up and press the button of the bell.

I waited, aided by my nervous rocking to and fro
And just as I was thinking I should turn around and go
I heard the rattle of the china in the hutch against the wall.
The triple beat of two feet and a crutch came down the hall.
The clicking of the door latch and the sliding of the bolt
And a little swollen struggle popped it open with a jolt.

She stood there pale and tiny, looking fragile as an egg.
I forced myself from staring at the brace that held her leg.
And though her thick bifocals
Seemed to crack and spread her eyes,
Their milky and refracted depths lit up with young surprise.
"Come in!" "Come in!" She laughed the words.
She took me by the hand
And all my fears dissolved away as if by her command.
We went inside and then before I knew how to react
Before my eyes and ears and nose
Was Christmas past . . . alive . . . intact!

The scent of candied oranges, of cinnamon and pine,
The antique wooden soldiers in their military line,
The porcelain Nativity I'd always loved so much,
The Dresden and the crystal I'd been told I mustn't touch.
My spirit fairly bolted like a child out of class
And danced among the ornaments of calico and glass.

Like magic I was six again, deep in a Christmas spell
Steeped in the million memories the boy inside knew well.
And here among old Christmas cards so lovingly displayed
A special place of honor for the ones we kids had made.
And there, beside her rocking chair, the center of it all
My great Aunt stood and said
How nice it was that I had come to call.

I sat and rattled on about the weather and the flu
She listened very patiently then smiled and said, "What's new?"
Thoughts and words began to flow. I started making sense.
I lost the phony breeziness I use when I get tense.
She was still passionately interested in everything I did.
She was positive. Encouraging. Like when I was a kid.
Simple generalities still sent her into fits
She demanded the specifics . . . the particulars . . . the bits.

We talked about the limitations that she'd had to face.
She spoke with utter candor and with humor and good grace.
Then defying the reality of crutch and straightened knee
On wings of hospitality she flew to brew the tea.
I sat alone with feelings that I hadn't felt in years.
I looked around at Christmas through a thick hot blur of tears.

And the candles and the holly she'd arranged on every shelf,
The impossibly good cookies she still somehow baked herself.
But these rich and tactile memories Became quite pale and thin
When measured by the Christmas
My great Aunt kept deep within.
Her body halved and nearly spent, But my great Aunt was whole.
I saw a Christmas miracle, the triumph of a soul.

The triple beat of two feet and a crutch came down the hall.
The rattle of the china in the hutch against the wall.
She poured two cups, she smiled, And then she handed one to me.
And then we settled back and had a cup of Christmas tea.

Credit to:
"A Cup of Christmas Tea" a poem in book form by Tom Hegg

Copied from 
With Heart and Hands in Memory
Michele Savikko Bilyeu
Christmas 2014