A different kind of Christmas tree: POETRY

December 24, 2011

Honestly, I’m kind of tapped out for today… but I came across this poem in a children’s book we have here at home and was reminded of just how lovely it is, of how truly fond I am of e.e. cummings… and so today’s post just came together in one fell swoop, as if by magic. Ahhhhhhh…

little tree

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would
only don’t be afraid
look the spangles
that sleep all year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy
then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they’ll stare!
oh but you’ll be very proud
and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we’ll dance and sing
“Noel Noel”

e.e. cummings

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Happy little snowpeople

December 22, 2011

Every time I look at this picture, I smile. I was visiting G’s class the other day and I saw this snowman mural up on the wall. I couldn’t resist snapping a photo so that I could have some happy little snowpeople of my own to enjoy. The two that are holding hands… they get me every time! I’m such a happy sap these days.

The yoga of Christmas

December 20, 2011

I clicked onto Facebook just now and discovered a link a friend had shared to a blog post about Jesus as yogi. Well, Halle-freakin-luia! So many people seem to find the fact that I am a catholic who studies yoga (both on & off the mat) somehow incongruous… News flash, peeps: my engagement with one spiritual practice actually serves to reinforce the other, in the very best of ways! Yoga makes so much more sense to me because of my faith – not despite it – and it is often in the midst of a yoga practice that I feel my faith come alive, so aware I am of God’s loving presence in our world. That being the case, thank you so much, Philip Goldberg, for writing this fantastic article that I am SO so so very excited to share here.

Happy Birthday, Guru Jesus.

Do your happy dance

December 13, 2011

This ornament is older than I am. (Well, that’s not actually saying much, since there are a umber of ornaments on our tree that are older than I am. But I digress.) This vintage ornament is one of my very favorites. Every year when we’re decorating the tree, I fear that my little Snoopy might not have made it through… but he always does. That’s part of the charm of Snoopy, isn’t it? His indomitability in the face of whatever adversaries come his way, whether they pose physical threats like the Red Baron or more ephemeral ones like the unyielding passage of time.

I love to think of the little hands that made this ornament, my youngest aunt as a crafty kid, her childlike mind that conceived printed comic + plexiglass + lace + velvet ribbon = masterpiece! To think of her, so satisfied with the end result of her artistic endeavor, doing her own happy dance a la Snoopy. To think of my daughter, who will do a happy dance each year when she hangs this ornament on her tree and thinks of all this after my aunt & I are long gone.

Because you know this damn Snoopy ornament is going to outlast us all.

This Christmas

December 12, 2011

When I first heard this song, it was as a Vonda Shepard cover on the Ally McBeal Christmas album. For real! (What? You did not know that such a thing existed? Worth the price of admission for Robert Downey Jr.’s rendition of “River,” if nothing else. Maybe I’ll have to add that here one of these days…)

Anyway, “This Christmas.” Man, it just doesn’t get much better than this. And no disrespect to Ms. Shepard or Ms. Aguilera or any of you other peeps who have done your own thing with this song, but when Donny Hathaway lays it down, seems to me that’s all that really needs to be said on the matter, isn’t it?

Pure soulful Christmas bliss :-)

A Mother’s Christmas Prayer

December 11, 2011

So here we are, smack dab in the middle of the most wonderful time of the year, and I’ve been so caught up in this, that, and the other that don’t you know I almost let myself give up on actually enjoying the winter holidays this year?

I said almost.

Luckily, the past week has been filled with little reminders… reminders to BREATHE… to practice mindfulness… to create space for the magic of this season to unfold… to BELIEVE.

A friend in the moms’ group that I’m a part of at church shared a wonderful piece at our meeting the other day, something so good that I can’t NOT pass it along. (In case, like me, you might be in need of a little reminder.)

A Mother’s Christmas Prayer – DivineCaroline.

Little pink houses

December 23, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in the day, my mom used to live in Bermuda. For real! Let me tell you, that was a good time, when going “home” for grad school breaks meant flying south to that picture-perfect island (situated in a much more temperate climate than Cambridge). A long-time favorite of the women in my family — yes, I’m thinking of you, Great Aunt Elsie, and the paintings you did during your stays on the island however many decades ago — Bermuda proved equally captivating to me. This ornament isn’t actually from a trip that I took… maybe it came back with my mom, as a souvenir of her first visit? But I couldn’t have picked a better one to capture my own memories of that fantastic place. My very favorite part of any visit to Bermuda is the final moments of the flight in, when the turquoise waters become more and more vibrant before giving way to the impossibly white beaches, then the pastel rainbow of houses dotting the island. For some people, little pink houses may make them think of John Cougar Mellancamp… but for me, they’ll always belong to Bermuda.

12 Days of Christmas

December 23, 2010

The fact that my 3 year old knows all the words to “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is totally blowing my mind. At first, she would just kind of chime in every now and then — you know, belting out  “FIVE GOL-DEN RINGSSSSSSSS!” at the appropriate time and whatnot. But then one day it was she who remembered the various people, places, and things of each verse quicker than I! Who knew that the notion of eleven pipers piping could make a grown woman tear up?

I think it will be a few more years, though, before I share my favorite version of the song with her. Each year, I wait for that moment when I’m driving somewhere and finally catch this on whatever radio station is doing the non-stop holiday music. And though I may not be a beer drinker, Bob and Doug, I salute you.

Santa Claus is coming to town

December 21, 2010

We’ve already been hosting members of his advance team for quite some time now. Let me introduce you to Cartman Claus (codename Baby Santa).

Dei sub numine viget

December 11, 2010

What better day to feature an ornament from my alma mater than today, when two fellow Tigers are tying the knot? Congratulations, Gia and Craig, we wish you much love today and always. XOXOXOXOXO


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