December 27, 2008

Winter (well, in its own way) has come to the Valley of the Sun. Freeze warnings are up all over the place, and we have covered as much vegetation as is possible to protect them from the freezing temperatures expected to come our way this night.

It’s kinda sad, really. As I type this post from my seat at the dining room table – the room awash in the bright-colored warmth of Christmas window lights, a glass of Pinot Grigio and a slice of chocolate cream pie at my side, and Frank Sinatra singing Christmas carols on the CD player – I can still see outside the window, illuminated by these happy lights, the shape and color of red bougainvillea flowers in their last night of majestic beauty. The freeze will surely get them tonight, and soon their life and joyful colors will be no more, their greenery and red flowers wilted, to be soon cut and carted away by Carmelo, leaving my prayer grove just a shadow of what it once was in the glorious fullness of summer and fall.

Ahh such is life. All beauty destined to death, all the fullness of life destined to an inglorious end. As is the year 2008, once full and heady in the heat of summer, now closing its time out in the dark and chilly hours all around us.

Some wonderful poetry to warm the heart, then, courtesy of Loreena McKennitt and her wonderful CD, “To Drive The Cold Winter Away”.

All hail to the days that merit more praise
Than all the rest of the year
And welcome the nights that double delights
As well for the poor as the peer!
Good fortune attend each merry man’s friend
That doth but the best that he may
Forgetting old wrongs with carols and songs
To drive the cold winter away

‘Tis ill for a mind to anger inclined
To think of small injuries now
If wrath be to seek, do not lend her your cheek
Nor let her inhabit thy brow
Cross out of thy books malevolent looks
Both beauty and youth’s decay
And wholly consort with mirth and sport
To drive the cold winter away

This time of the year is spent in good cheer
And neighbours together do meet
To sit by the fire, with friendly desire
Each other in love to greet
Old grudges forgot are put in the pot
All sorrows aside they lay
The old and the young doth carol this song
To drive the cold winter away

When Christmas’s tide comes in like a bride
With holly and ivy clad
Twelve days in the year much mirth and good cheer
In every household is had
The country guise is then to devise
Some gambols of Christmas play
Whereat the young men do the best that they can
To drive the cold winter away

I love the sentiments of this song; what is past is past – to beg the more common phrase, “it is what it is” – and now, amidst the darkness and death of a winter night, it seems desirable to immerse one’s self in, and embrace, all the joys and colors and sentiments of this season, putting aside all the baggage accumulated over the past year.

Time seems more precious now; the season demands no less. And through it God is calling us to the better angels of our nature. Will we open our hearts and hear that call?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:15 | Comments (3)
  1. And I am sitting in 70 degree temps today. Seems Mother Nature has flipped things around today. As I plan to put away the decorations next week, I am also planning to clear out as well. Too much stuff in the storage area and “candle” closet. When did I acquire all these candles? What to do with old candles? How many candles does a person really need?

    Comment by Jana — December 27, 2008 @ 6:22 am

  2. Well, Jana I don’t know how many candles one needs, but I sure have any idea as to what to do with them. Burn ’em down. Or, save them for a time when you lose your power in the winter!

    Or, drag them out when the Summer Solstice comes – on that day we light all the candles in our house to commemorate the longest day of the year. That’s what Daisy Buchanan did in “The Great Gatsby”, and its a tradition that has stayed with us since.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — December 27, 2008 @ 8:40 pm

  3. I did the entire house in candles for the winter solstice and do burn lots of them in the summer on the big ass deck and down around the swing area. I border the rocks across from the swing in candles…looks very nice. I may need to use candles more to economize…sheesh!!!
    Perhaps we can do a conference call toast on New Year’s Eve…I plan to be home.

    Comment by Jana — December 28, 2008 @ 7:14 am

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