Seasons come and go
Each a special flavor,
Marking out the times within my span,
Summer departs, the glory of sunshine,
Still water and gentle breezes dims.
Seeds disperse, ensuring the next generation.
I recall seasons long past,
When together we dreamed of peace.
I must not linger in summer,
But divest myself of its joys,
Put on longer sleeves,
Turn thoughts to warm heaters, hot chocolate…
Embrace each season’s splendor
Watch for the red tints (I know where they grow)
Kick the leaves,
Enjoy the new swishing songs.
Not mourn the loss of summer,
Embrace always things to come
Even so is life.
Feeling nostalgic looking at the many pictures my daughter and family in China are posting. I can almost taste the food… sigh! You don’t get real Chinese food in the west it has all been adapted.
(It’s the year of the monkey this year by the way.)
It’s Chinese but Anglicized, sweet and sour, but not succulent, noodles, stir fry, dumplings, but lacking the subtle nuances of the real thing. The smiles are polite and kind but lack the friendly vitality. I am heart sick for China.
The buffet tempted me in (that and my grandson’s eagerness) but it’s painful to be so tempted, only the feel of the chopsticks and the taste of the tea are the same. I long to book a flight and just go, but I remember too well the toll that trip takes on my body.
I recall my friends, the tearful partings, the smells, the humidity, the feeling of coming home, my other home. How I am sometimes torn between two worlds wishing I could spend time in both. Life is easier here but sometimes I miss that other home…
This is going to be the toughest assignment! Why? because I don’t like music? No, I love listening to music. The problem is that as I don’t partake of TV or radio my contemporary music exposure tends to be an occasional face book post from my kids etc. Add to this I generally listen to Christian music (encouraging with all the bad stuff right now) 60-70’s songs or classical and with my non-existent memory and IT lacks I frequently don’t remember the artist or even titles of songs. So enough with the excuses! I’ll try to come up with 10 songs.
“Mary Did You Know” by Pentatonix (the guys who make the musical accompaniment verbally – amazing! and they bring a new one out every Christmas.)
“California Dreaming” by Mamas and Papas (great for drab, rainy, English winter like now – of course I’m not visualizing California but all those sunny places I’ve lived.)
“Nights in White Satin” by Moody Blues (beautiful dreamy old song that brings back 100 memories.)
“Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf (the rush of the road and the past energy of youth overwhelm me again every time I hear it.)
“Carry On” by Crosby Stills and Nash (Memories of when hope was new and fresh and world peace seemed attainable – if you are wondering “why so many hippie type songs?” my son in law downloaded a bunch for me at Christmas – I was surprised to find he liked them too.)
“Blowing in the Wind” by Bob Dylan.
“Where Have all the Flowers Gone” Joan Bias (Two classic anti-war songs that can still tear me up.)
After two sad songs gonna cheat a bit here for 8-10 and add some real “feel good” music from Abba with the “Mamma Mai” songs (I love them all and listen again and again but don’t know most titles.)
Can I get a pass please teacher? Please? pretty please?
I look back and remember. Come and peek into my world,
When candles softly glowed, the angel’s wings unfurled.
With childhoods eyes I waited for the feast on Christmas Eve,
Not food, or presents waiting but what little eyes perceive.
When dad would light the candles upon the Christmas tree
With my sister I would huddle and glorious beauty see.
It lasted a few moments (the flames could not be left)
And so this time of magic would leave us soon bereft.
But in our souls would linger the beauty of the sight
And in our hearts remember Christ was given on this night.
My memory stretches back to the early 50s, Christmas Eves. It was cold before the days of central heating and double glazing. The heat from the roaring coal fire in the living room did not extend to the hallway where the tree stood and my sister and I huddled together in our flannelette nighties and tightly bound dressing gowns. Furry slippers and wool socks guarded our feet from the drafts that slipped past the door stop, but we didn’t notice the cold, our eyes were glued to the metal clip on candle holders we’d helped arrange (being careful of nearby branches the candles might ignite.)
Dad, still dressed in his work clothes, struck a match to the box and the magic began. Tiny flames appeared reflecting their gleaming warmth off the baubles and tinsel as we stood in awe at its beauty respectfully keeping our distance (only dad was permitted this task). Mum came behind to hug us and for a few moments time stopped as we admired the tiny lights gleaming in the darkness. Then all too soon they began to die and dad blew them out making sure his family slept safe.
In the morning there would be presents to unwrap, hot chocolate, carols at the old piano, mum’s home made cake, mince pies and Christmas pudding to devour, but as a child The most special thing about Christmas was when dad lit the lights.
Childlike, I was sure that must have been the time Jesus was born, amidst the magic.