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Winter Nights

Despite the title, this is a Christmas poem. I wrote it several years ago about the joy and anticipation I felt, as a child, at this time of year. This was embedded in family and community rituals I experienced growing up. In a consumptive and materialistic world, some of this has been lost. What I do is hold onto the memories.

We lived in an old house and it was often very cold. In the evenings, my mother and three older brothers went across the street to the church for evening mass. This was part of the rite of passage for me. In junior high, I joined them.

Many evenings, I sat by the heavily frosted window to watch my mother and brothers return. Some of those evenings were clear, the sky filled with stars, and sometimes the Northern Lights were part of Nature’s light show.

Breathlessly awaiting,

Through frosted window peering

Small children–

Soaking it in.

Heavens rippling–

Lights undulating;

A celebratory fury

An indisputable guide.

An old house speaking;

Nature answering–

The heavens crackling

Sweet symphonic music.

Earth’s floor–

Blanketed in white

Celestial colours shimmering

Capturing young eyes.

A vivid winter scene,

A sensual, sensory palette,

Reminding–

Christ’s Mass draws near.

I took this picture at the farm this past weekend. The sun goes down early here at this time of the year. They had just had fresh snow, with about 8-10 inches falling in one day, so the scene was still quite untouched.

Winter Nights

It is December 1 and Christmas is just around the corner. The last few days I recalled what it was like in rural northern Alberta at this time of the year. We used to sit upstairs and look out the window on cold, cold nights shimmering with white. What caught my eye and ear was the magic provided by the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis. They don’t appear in Edmonton as I recall them from my childhood memories. What message was in those celestial colours and sounds?

Small children–

Breathlessly wait,

Peer through frosted window

Soak it in.

Heavens ripple–

Lights undulated;

A celebratory fury

An indisputable guide.

This old house speaks;

Nature answers–

Crackles from the heavens

Sweet symphonic sounds.

Earth’s floor–

Blanketed in white

Celestial colours shimmer

Captures young eyes.

A vivid winter scene,

A sensual, sensory palette,

Reminds me–

Christ’s Mass draws near.

pic_wonder_northern_lights_lg

The photo came from Seven Wonders of Canada.

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