“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


after i turn them around

the paperwhites have romantic souls, reaching every night for the moon.  each morning i turn them and they begin that reach once more.  i like the way they won't take no for an answer.  they strive.  they straighten throughout the day and reach for the sun, half moon pose when i go to bed, a total bow when i awaken.

the day before the day before christmas.



before the blooming

it's a rainy saturday night,
dirty dancing is on the television,
and the cat and i hold vigil against a flood that hasn't come.
knock on wood.

christmas is less than two weeks away, and we are busy until long after dark.  every night on my way home i pass a balcony that stays hidden in the summer and fall and spring, a balcony that appears like magic only in this season, strung with white lights.  it makes me think of paris - the paris in movies and books - and the feeling it makes me feel is all i want under my christmas tree.  when it's warm out, there is a door open into the room behind, golden light shimmering across a painting.  i imagine a life in that room and on the balcony, even in the hidden seasons, and it is almost enough, that imagining.  it is not a place to fear the rain.

at my house, the december wind teases, bringing with it longing and loneliness, taking away my hiding places, flinging them to the sky with the leaves.  all gone.  there is nothing left between me and the sky.  a friend tells me the winter darkness is darker than the nights of summer.

i am thinking in pictures, exhausted with words and rain.  my furniture stays stacked and piled away from small floods; i no longer care if it finds its way back.  the empty corners say my name and i light candles.


above: before the rain this week, before the paperwhites bloomed against the sunshine and warmer air.