so full of light

December rain. That’s what we’ve got going on here. A thunderstorm right on the brink of Christmas. Seriously. The wind is gusting; howling even. The weather feels very unsettled, but more like spring than winter. Looks like another non-white Christmas in Bugtussle this year. We’ll have to settle for mud instead. Ah, well… there are worse things.

Despite the rain and the mud and the perpetually gray skies (although the sun did shine a few days ago!!) and the dark nights made even darker by the new moon and the short days this time of year brings… I am finding that my days are filled with so much light. Not just the kind of light that you plug into an outlet, but light…

There have been lots of candles and little lights on the solstice tree. Glasses of wine and chocolate chip cookies. A turkey feast with Jesse and Hannah (who are working really hard to bring that baby into this world right this very minute!!!) There have been presents and glowing faces. A new puppy for Ira. Stories by the fire and warm cups of tea. There’s excited anticipation for a trip to Gammy’s for Christmas, ’cause Gammy knows how to make things magical for little kids (and big kids, too). So much goodness. So much light.IMGP0088IMGP0050IMGP0090IMGP0101IMGP0062IMGP0085So, friends, from all of us to all of you, have the happiest of holidays. However you choose to celebrate them, may you feel the light surround you… and then bask in it. 


i love christmas

I love Christmas enough to share this poem, written by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. It was published in his collection of poems A Coney Island of the Mind, in 1958.

There’s some deep digs on commercial Christmas here, but a tender edge, as well.  Take your time when you read.  My father first introduced me to Ferlinghetti when I was in middle school.  Imagine the eighth grade teacher’s dismay when I whipped out this poem as my contribution to the school Christmas program.  My beatnik childhood was fraught with mainstream disappointments.  I’m grateful to have outgrown them.  Now there are days of sweetness and impatient excitement with the children, as we wait out the passing of the Solstice, and celebrate Christmas, as best we know how.

I hope you are riding through these short days and long dark nights with your grace intact, reader.  And that we can all arrive in the new season, the coming light, with the seed of true love in our hearts, ready to sprout new, again and again.tree kisser


CHRIST climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
there were no rootless Christmas trees
hung with candycanes and breakable stars

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
there were no gilded Christmas trees
and no tinsel Christmas trees
and no tinfoil Christmas trees
and no pink plastic Christmas trees
and no gold Christmas trees
and no black Christmas trees
and no powderblue Christmas trees
hung with electric candles
and encircled by tin electric trains
and clever cornball relatives

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
no intrepid Bible salesmen
covered the territory
in two-tone cadillacs
and where no Sears Roebuck crèches
complete with plastic babe in manger
arrived by parcel post
the babe by special delivery
and where no televised Wise Men
praised the Lord Calvert Whiskey

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
no fat handshaking stranger
in a red flannel suit
and a fake white beard
went around passing himself off
as some sort of North Pole saint
crossing the desert to Bethlehem
in a Volkswagen sled
drawn by rollicking Adirondack reindeer
with German names
and bearing sacks of Humble Gifts
from Saks Fifth Avenue
for everybody’s imagined Christ child

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
no Bing Crosby carolers
groaned of a tight Christmas
and where no Radio City angels
iceskated wingless
thru a winter wonderland
into a jinglebell heaven
daily at 8:30
with Midnight Mass matinees

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and softly stole away into
some anonymous Mary’s womb again
where in the darkest night
of everybody’s anonymous soul
He awaits again
an unimaginable
and impossibly
Immaculate Reconception
the very craziest
of Second Comingsstar angel