“January so far has been a month of cold gray days, with an occasional storm whirling across the harbor and filling Spook’s Lane with drifts. But last night we had a silver thaw and today the sun shone. My maple grove was a place of unimaginable splendors. Even the commonplaces had been made lovely. Every bit of wire fencing was a wonder of crystal lace.”
Letter from Anne to Gilbert ANNE OF WINDY POPLARS
Though I took a few weeks break, I am still full of gratitude and I am finishing off the month, looking ahead to February and beyond.
I am thankful for the sound of Canada geese out my window.
I heard them out in the cold January sky, just as I heard sad news from the literary world, and something about it felt less coincidental and more like a sign of a poet leaving this world.
I am thankful for poetry like that of Mary Oliver and her love of nature and the natural world, which she showed through her poems.
I am thankful for orchestral musicians and their conductor who keep up and play the beautiful music of a Harry Potter soundtrack, as I watched the movie on the big screen with a bunch of other crazed HP fans.
I am thankful for snow that’s like cotton balls, like the kind that makes me feel its cold, but also like maybe I’m living inside of one of those snow globes.
I am thankful for the energy of a productive violin lesson where I know why it is I love the instrument so much.
I am thankful for a few minutes of time with my niece playing beside me, even while on the phone. She is the sweetest, coming and sitting beside me and cuddling, then hiding under the blanket.
I am thankful for our thing together where I sing the Elton John line: I’m still standing … and she then sings the next part, yeah yeah yeah.
As cute as it is that she now does high fives and fist bumps, that’s more of a silent action, whereas the singing is an audible one.
I am thankful for new Dido music:
I am thankful for classic love songs, duets, and for beautiful musical talent.
Lots of sadness in the music world, with love song guru James Ingram dying and I end off January with one more glimpse of the voice we lost, one year ago:
RIP to them both and to Mary Oliver too.
I am thankful for the end of January and February arriving, a short month (my birthday month) now beginning.
Well, if I am living inside of a snow globe, time to shake things up! Bye bye January and hello February to come.
The Garden In Winter
Frosty-white and cold it lies
Underneath the fretful skies;
Snowflakes flutter where the red
Banners of the poppies spread,
And the drifts are wide and deep
Where the lilies fell asleep.
But the sunsets o’er it throw
Flame-like splendor, lucent glow,
And the moonshine makes it gleam
Like a wonderland of dream,
And the sharp winds all the day
Pipe and whistle shrilly gay.
Safe beneath the snowdrifts lie
Rainbow buds of by-and-by;
In the long, sweet days of spring
Music of bluebells shall ring,
And its faintly golden cup
Many a primrose will hold up.
Though the winds are keen and chill
Roses’ hearts are beating still,
And the garden tranquilly
Dreams of happy hours to be
In the summer days of blue
All its dreamings will come true.”