One Sunflower

in the bleak midwinter

on December 28, 2010

The guests are leaving town one by one and the daily rhythm of the work week is resuming around me.  My daughter and her husband left last night after an afternoon playing “Rage” around the dining room table.  My husband crawled reluctantly out of bed this morning to go to work.  My son will be coming home today after spending Christmas for the first time with his girl friend’s family. The car of our upstairs neighbor is back in the parking lot and I can hear her footfalls above me this morning.   I luxuriate in the knowledge that I have a few more days to lounge in my sweat pants, knit all day if I want to, and continue to ignore the clutter of holiday debris scattered in pockets around the house.

Being a teacher, I’ve always felt that the new year begins in September but December has become a time for me to sift and sort, acknowledge and affirm,  reset my compass and  plot out a new course for the journey forward.  In this month that is so dark, images from the past year spiral in the vortex of time, coming into focus briefly before they descend forever into a dark hole.

I feel like I, too, swirl down the drain of December, emerging once again in January with a cloak woven of those memories, ready to take hold of the lantern light again as I proceed, tucking new images into my pockets.

I never knew that Christina Rosetti wrote this poem.  I think it is lovely.

In the Bleak Mid-winter

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter,
Long ago.

Our God, heav’n cannot hold him
Nor earth sustain;
Heav’n and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign;
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty
Jesus Christ.

Enough for him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk,
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air:
But only his mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man
I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give him —
Give my heart.


2 responses to “in the bleak midwinter

  1. Stacey says:

    The use of the word luxuriate, along with the gorgeous photos and the poem, makes this slice so strong.

    Happy holidays!

  2. Tara says:

    You capture the feeling of this week perfectly! And thank you for that glorious poem….we sang it on Friday and so enjoyed those beautiful, soulful words.

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