Tuesday, December 15, 2009


December 1st
Right now its spitting snow outside the window.. Five minutes ago it was all sun and blue sky through the trees. An hour ago a blizzard, the trees swaying and dancing in the wind. The scene outside the picture window in my mother’s home changes as rapidly as the changes come to me this year.

I spent time with John in North Carolina in June, and with Merry in July. Then off to Michigan until the second week of August. A fairly typical summer. But, not home to a typical Fall. Instead, I never really got my bearings. With a friend’s help I downsized my garden, getting rid of the raised vegetable beds. I probably won’t be home enough to enjoy their fruits. I wrote some acceptable, not great, poetry. I typed my poetry collection- 88 pages. I drafted a children’s book based on my research on Crispus Attucks. Nothing I did was of any significance, because my heart wasn’t in it. Somedays I just read and slept, no rhythm, no purpose. God was there, but I didn’t listen, just did my daily office routinely.

While I am getting stronger each day (I’m on page 45 of revising my 119 pages of poetry), I still miss my old identity. I have lived much of my life basking in the glow of teenagers. Now I bask in the warmth of the sun and the glow of the snow. I knew if I came home to Michigan I would find my way again. I could be serving on committees, heading this, chairing that, teaching writing, tutoring, but then I couldn’t visit family for months at a time. Or, like Thoreau, “front the essentials of life.”

It is quiet here, and real. One keeps both bottles of water to drink, and buckets of water for flushing when the power goes out. For Thanksgiving, mom and I had 16 plus ourselves. The turkey was done early, as were the dressing, and sweet potatoes. She cooked the potatoes, gravy and baked the rolls on the woostove, which kept us warm when the power went out for four hours in the middle of the day.

We keep the refrigerator and freezer stocked so we can enjoy the snow and ignore the sometimes icy roads. We don’t have anything that has to be done, and yet the days pass in meaningful activity, including bird watching out that picture window, through which the sun shines right now, while I write to you….

Well, I’ve had my afternoon nap, done exercises with “Sit and Keep Fit,” used the ski machine, and had afternoon tea with my mother and the birds and trees outside the window. The sky is gray now, and the wind has picked up, and snow has started again. We’ve gathered small downed branches and laid a fire in the woodstove, ready for the next power outage.

Despite the steady snow fall, there has been little accumulation on the porch or walks. This snow is fluffy, and with the wind doesn’t coat our world in frosting like the earlier snow did or later storms will. This snow swirls and dances in the wind, like the dancing trees, it turns first this way then that, turning, settling, only to be caught by the wind and blown to another resting place. It will finally settle and with God’s direction, so will I.

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