And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Photo by Jedediah Berry, Amherst, MA
April 4, 2016 – Winterberry Holly and Forsythia in side yard.
“Perhaps what moves us in winter is some reminiscence of far off summer … The cold is merely superficial; it is summer still at the core, far, far within.”
– H. D. Thoreau
April 4, 2016 – Our house.
April 4, 2016 – Our Town.
April 4, 2016 – Cemetery Statue.
April 4, 2016 – Cemetery Pond.
April 4, 2016 – Underbrush.
Photos by K. Houk and S. Rockmuller.
Tomorrow, this sign will hang in a store window at 12 Main Street in Chatham, NY. My two daughters and I will be selling our handmade goods, from 11 am to 4 pm. I have been able to work slowly on some small items for the sale.
Below are some more tiny worlds, small living terrariums, which will be for sale. I also will show some woolen goods, ornaments, and some jewelry. Stop by if you are in Chatham!
Woman in heart terrarium.
Reindeer in terrarium.
Eagle in terrarium.
Close-up of eagle.
A possum decided to explore the cat’s den on the front porch.
Meanwhile, I’ve put together two more terrariums. Photos to follow if energy allows!
Today I am playing. With frigid cold, snow, and ice outside the window, I decided to play with green things, feel their life force, smell the soil on my hands. Below are some photos from the terrarium I created. On the KatharineHouk.com website you’ll find some tiny terrarium pendants I made with living moss.
This little green world was created in a glass cube shaped container, 5″ x 5″ x 5″. The people are approximately 1 & 1/4″- 1 & 1/2″ tall. I do have much smaller mushrooms to replace the “large” red ones, but the tiny ones need a coat of glaze to dry before I put them in a moist environment. The “large” rock was found by my granddaughter and added to the scene. Smaller stones are semi-precious. The bright sun washed out the green in these photos; it is much more green and verdant than it appears.
It’s the little things that keep me going.
I thought I’d be experiencing silence on this dark, solstice night. But outside thunder rumbles in the dark, while rain pelts the windows. There will probably be no snow this Christmas.
Inside, the Christmas tree – with no lights or trimmings – stands in a corner in the living room. Hanukkah candles offer a small, wavering light, which will grow as the week goes on.
Winter officially begins, even as we are about to slowly see more daylight.
This has been an intense year for me, because I was given a gift which is slowly bringing into focus the areas of my life where I wish to use my energy. That gift is a “live-in-the-moment” way of being, acknowledging what is and moving on from there, one step in front of another.
The Christmas tree has not been trimmed because my youngest daughter is eager to do it with me when she arrives tomorrow. It will be a delight to be with two of my three grown children. Hopefully I’ll see my eldest daughter and my grandchildren in late winter or spring.
Here’s more light, in the form of light humor. My Jewish brother-in-law sent the following Hanukkah greeting:
Top 5 Hanukkah Songs That Never Quite Caught On
5. “Oy To The World”
4. “Bubbie Got Run Over By A Reindeer”
3. “Matzo Man” by The Lower East Side Village People
2. “Come On, Baby, Light My Menorah”
And the #1 Hanukkah song that never quite caught on…
1. “Silent Night? I Should Be So Fortunate!”
More photos! Last night we received about 10 inches of heavy, wet snow. Because the leaves are still on most of the trees, the weight brought down tree limbs. There were a couple of large tree limbs (one oak, one maple) that hit the roof, with many smaller limbs down all around. Brave husband climbed up on the roofs to remove the limbs, while I handed up saws, etc.
Below is my hand, as I cleared snow off the yew. You can see how deep the snow is.
A photo shot skyward at the snow on the maple leaves. With the sun shining on it, the snow has been melting quickly. See the birds in the upper right corner?
The last time we experienced a winter storm here in October was in the 1980’s. We were without power for days, melting snow for water and cooking on the wood stove. So far we have not lost power with this storm, though the lights flickered a few times.
So, what does Mother Nature have in store for us next?