Of Celebrations–Monday Meanderings

At this time of the year, introspection tends to creep in. Like the bears which have been visiting our neighborhood in search of food recently in preparation for hibernation, I find that winter invites those of us attuned to seasonal changes, to go within—to hibernate spiritually.

Photo: contenttime.com

Photo: contenttime.com

This week, in the United States, we will join as families and friends to give thanks for the fruits of the harvest, for the many blessings we share. This marks, for us, the end of autumn.

Immediately after, we pick up the pace of our lives preparing for the holidays. It can get crazy. We strive to overcome darkness by turning toward the light. Worldwide, many do the same. Here, in the western hemisphere, Chanakkuh, Christmas and Kwanza festivities pepper the months of December. Each of these incorporates some celebration of light.

In my family, it is Christmas that will take center stage. Because Thanksgiving, which always occurs on the 4th Thursday of November, is so late this year, my husband is outside as we speak, putting lights on the front of our house. Over the last few days, I decorated the Christmas tree and set up our Nativity scene—a reminder of what it is we celebrate at Christmas…the coming of Light into chaotic darkness.

Photo Credit: David Slotto

Photo Credit: David Slotto

As we ease into the madness of the all-too-commercial aspects of Christmas, I find it even more important to make time for reflection, to write, to seek a bit of solitude. For this to happen, I need to make the effort, to create sacred space. I confess that it is a huge effort for me, as I suspect for many of you with creative dispositions.

I wish all of you Happy Thanksgiving—even if you don’t mark the day as we do in this country. If we make each day a day of gratitude, I truly believe the world will be a better place, a happier place.

Perhaps you would share one or two things for which you are most grateful. For my part, right up there near the top are each of you, for the time you take to enrich my life through your blogs, comments and/or friendship.

Photo Credit: vidaorganicimages.com

Photo Credit: vidaorganicimages.com

Our Stories

The night before I plan to take down the Christmas tree,
I crawl from beneath the covers, slip downstairs
and curl up on the couch to read stories of our life together.

The tree rotates, a swirl of colors, as ornaments recount
the years. 1991—“Our First Christmas,”
two critters snuggled in a hollow log.

Photo: D. Slotto

Photo: D. Slotto

The merry-go-round of the tree unfolds the years,
one-by-one. Cycles of remembrance unfurl—
the hard and happy times, the growth, the losses.

Upstairs you snore gently. Sometimes we sleep
and overlook those subtle changes—the waxing
and waning of our marriage, of our shared love.

Photo: D. Slotto

Photo: D. Slotto

At eleven o’clock (you set the timer) the tree goes dark.
I steal back to bed, hold tight our memories, hold on to you.

Photo D. SlottoChristmas 2012

Photo D. Slotto
Christmas 2012

Arriving late to the pub for Claudia’s prompt on change. I wish each of you much joy and good health as we wind up 2012 and plot our course for the coming year. I will be traveling this up-coming week but will do my best to keep in touch.

Each year “Santa” places a new ornament on our tree. The tree rotates and is set up on a timer. It’s all put away now.

Walking Between Worlds

Troy Lim photography via Photobotos

Last night an owl
visited my dream.

At first, a shadow
till the moon reflected
layer upon layer,
feathered phantom,
snowy countenance,
searing eyes,
her image in a well
of watery, starlit magic.

Gift of wisdom:
darkest light that shimmers—

plumbing fear,
extracting secrets,
harboring power
of the womb.

The risk is this:
you dare not go within.

The owl totem is a symbol of the feminine, the moon and the night. It is a bird of magic and darkness, of prophecy and wisdom. When she visits your dreams, you are well-advised to look within.

Written for Open Link Night over at dVerse Poets’ Pub hosted tonight by Joe Hesch. Stop on over. I suspect he’ll brew up a magic potion just for you.

Photo Credit: This photo is the work of Troy Lim as featured on Photobotos.com  It is my understanding the work featured on Photobotos my be used for non-commercial purposes. If this is incorrect, I will be happy to remove it from this post. It was the photo (and a dream) that set my mind to working. I highly recommend this site to fellow poets as a marvelous source of inspiration.

Big Tent Poetry–Introspection

Public Domain


A Cascade

When winter comes
will you be ready
to hibernate?

To go within
confront the truth,
when winter comes?

To feel the chill
of unlived dreams—
will you be ready?

This time of year
in cold and dark, we long
to hibernate.

Submitted to Big Tent Poetry: http://bigtentpoetry.org/ and to Leonnyes Z to A Challenge: http://leonnyes.wordpress.com/


For me, winter is a time of introspection. Nature seems quiet, but all the work is happening underground or inside. In Reno right now, there is an inversion layer, so even the atmosphere is oppressive. Snow that fell over a month ago has turned to mucky ice. I haven’t written anything new since before Christmas–all my efforts are spent in preparation for our annual sojourn in Palm Desert.

During winter, Earth awaits new growth. In the same way, our moments of dormancy are periods of preparation for new life, both in the realm of creativity and spirituality.

My primary writing goal during our stay in the desert is to complete the first draft of my second novel, “The Sin of His Father.” Oh, I plan on plunging into poetry, reading, taking lots of walks, enjoying the milder weather and even hacking at the golf ball.

But, beyond that, the most important thing about winter–even in the desert–is the opportunity to go within. This is a time of retreat.