“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Wings for the new year

The fluttering of a bird's wings awoke me this morning.

Sunshine/flit/shadow/flit/sunshine/flit/shadow/flit, quick, quick, quick against my closed eyelids, the pattern of light a silent wake-up call from the Universe. And so the year comes to a soft end, my bird muse nearby, happy in the outdoor sun, patient with me, letting me sleep longer than usual, letting me be late on this slow workday, Maggie outside long before, in the 5:30 darkness.

Last year I had one resolution for the new year. More art. That was it - that was all. I wanted to find some wings, try them on, fly around a bit, see what I thought. Those wings? Oh, I thought, I'll make them of maps of the night sky, pieces of broken stars, mockingbird feathers. I'll attach fireflies to the edges come summertime, and white tulips in the spring. At Christmas, tiny silver bells, almost silent, so that when I moved my heart would hear the sound before my ears. Freshwater pearls & remnants of storm clouds captured in jars, sealed with wax & wrapped in baby blue ribbon. Arrow leaves, white rocks - oh, there's a story I've yet to tell - and the sound of a purring cat. Magical wings. Not those of an angel, but those of an artist. I've learned to be comfortable with that idea - artist. I've learned to embrace it a bit, to feed it what it needed - solitude, friendship, belief in silly ideas.

So this new year? This coming year? What now, what next? Well, more art, I say again. But this year, more words also. I've learned to fly from tree to tree, but I'm ready to soar a bit higher, to glide a while on a cool breeze. This year I'll add to my wings - I want owl feathers & silver handprints of those I love, I want cat pawprints across vanilla silk edged with white embroidery & porcupine quills - I know where to find them. I want a fallen piece of the windchime hanging from the tree next to my father's grave, heart & hand milagros, paperwhites, the scent of green tea. I know where they all are - I just have to scoop them up with both hands.

I know now that a year is not just a measurement of time - it is space in my soul & it is up to me to fill it. This year is more than full, and that is why a new one must take its place, nestling close to all those other years I have inside, not closed shut, but still open so that pieces from one year may spill over into the next or even the next. The past is there, still alive, still coloring the present, still offering advice, still giggling at the jokes I have stored away.

Maybe I will add giggles to this years wings.
First thing.

So for you - I wish you wings of your own. What will you use to make them? It is up to you, you know, you're not allowed to hire out the sewing & hammering services. You must pick up the needle & thread yourself, you must solve the problem of getting those moonbeams to stay put. How will you do that? What tricks will you use?

Where do you start?
with shadows? peppermints? frost on a windowpane?


  1. I love the idea of your wings with giggles on them. I guess I am fortunate to have had a load of giggles this year, but I think next year I'll just try to make bigger wings.

    Thanks for the inspiration and happy new year. I hope lots of giggles are waiting for you, starting tomorrow morning.

  2. Tango - Bigger wings, more giggles. Terrific plan. Here's to 2009!

    :) Debi

  3. I never make resolutions, but if I did...I would resolve to visit the EmmaTree a bit more often. I always leave this site feeling a little less burden and a bit lighter in spirit. Your words are a gift..to you and to me!

    Peace, Love and Happy New Year,

  4. Oh, Debi! I wanted to write a perfect, perfect post about saying goodbye to one year and hello to another. So,of course, I visited you for inspiration. What I found was a perfect post. Absolutely perfect. This year my wings will be sewn with very small, peaceful, silver stitches. They will whisper, "Shh. Shh..." when the maddness of the world grows too loud. Like you, I'll include giggles, but mine will have instructions to escape at inappropriate times. My wings will gleam with starshine. Especially bright when life is especially dark. I'd better go and pick up that needle.

    Happy new year, sweet friend.

  5. So lightly___the wind blows
    through emma tree
    where birds flit
    as welcome
    to the soft sunlight
    of tomorrows.

  6. OMG, Debi, those wings are already taking you to new heights, new worlds and dimensions!
    What a lovely, lovely set of images conjured by such poetic words.

  7. Deb, I just had to come back (ten minutes later after reading your post) to let you know that I am still FLYING from what you wrote!

  8. "I know now that a year is not just a measurement of time - it is space in my soul & it is up to me to fill it. "

    what a beautiful sentiment on the cusp of a new year.

    glad i found you in 2008.

    happy new year!

  9. i had to stop a few times and catch my breath and gather my thoughts from reading this post. each and every one of those amazing wings i had pictured in my mind as you wrote the perfect words... i simply love that you are going to give us more winged words debi! you know how big a fan i am. i have to give myself a little more time to think about this coming year in winged terms. i want to write this post down in my most precious of journals where i keep the most heartfelt and tender of my inspirations. you truly amaze me my dear friend debi :)

    Where do i start?
    with shadows? peppermints? frost on a windowpane? i'm not sure yet......


  10. You are absolutely soaring on your wings, my dear. Truly sailing in the wind through the blue skies. There is a word I never use, but I think of it when I think of you. Verve. Honey, you have verve.

  11. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful.

  12. This is such a thought provoking post. Beautifully intense, full of magic, abounding in wisdom, I shall learn from you :)

  13. So beautifully written. I love your ideas...making wings wrong the maps of the night sky, with pieces of broken stars, with mockingbird feathers (and don't mockingbirds collect shiny things...such as stars?). Stormclouds captured in jars, too. You are already creating magic for yourself (and for your readers) for this New Year.

  14. Oh Debi, this photo is so very, very beautiful! Thank you for this light filled post, so inspiring and so timely for me. My wings will be sewn of translucent silver thread. They will take me to the places where light reflects and I will bask in it.

  15. You have the most beautiful wings. The most sparkly stardust escapes them every time you flap those wings and soar.

    Hmmm what will my wings look like? Feel like? I want to sit somewhere quiet and dream about that.


  16. ps....the first sentence in this post is so beautiful. So perfect in its stillness.

  17. Relyn - Oh, your wings will help to calm you, to quieten things. How wonderful that will be. And inappropriate giggles!!! I LOVE that!

    jfrancis - yes, the birds are welcome. Thank you for the poetry!

    Paula - I was just listening to something on tv about Icarus, and resolved to not fly too high! LOL!

    Robin - You were born with wings!

    Brenda - I am heading for the dictionary to check on "verve"! :)
    Thank you!

    Eilandkind - Happy New Year! Are you working on your wings? They will include something to symbolize bravery, I think.

    Valaine - As I will learn from you! Thank you!

    Susanna - You, who created the most absolutely perfect winged messengers, are inspiration for me. Thank you for visiting. And PS - Your black hearts on a string - oh my! My heart skips a beat everytime I see them!

    Suvarna - How wonderful that sounds. With wings like those, you will never be lost!

    Jaime - I know your wings will be full of flowers & color & silence. Maybe the ocean's roar?
    When we have them all built, we will fly about together & point out interesting things down there on the ground below us. What fun!

    Jacky - Thank you for stopping by, and thank you for the kind words!

    :) Debi

  18. what a lovely lovely worded post, this just made my me smile softly with wonder...i love the first thing you'll add to the wings are giggles....all the world needs laughter....i will come visit often now that i have found this blog.

  19. Shawn - I am glad to have you visit! Welcome!

    :) Debi

  20. to me you live in a magical fairytale, a dream for the creative heart. like you, i must be brave, sprout wings, believe, use my tools for grander things or perhaps be joyful for all i have crafted, will continue to craft without judgment or barometer. riches, affluence, the golden key, a heavy stone in the pit of me. may i talk to you like this every now and then just to feel connected to this fairytale, this dreamer's place, this needed hope offered here when i get lost? i am quite quiet, unobtrusive, so please do not worry, feel burdened. i am drawn here as if i have known you a million years before...old soul, perhaps. i am a bit dramatic, but quite harmless. :)


come. sit under the emma tree & let's talk. i have cookies . . .