Nora Jones sings on my computer, Natalie naps under a Tardis blanket on the couch, and Miyako the cat bird-watches in the windowsill. It’s mid-afternoon on the shortest day in the year, but the sun fills this room as if it’ll always be here. A crescent of blackbirds shoots out of the far-off cedars, crisscrossing some of the other birds in flight. On the highway to the southwest, car windshields gleam to broadcast news of their adventures.
I love the winter solstice, and how it brings us into close-up witnessing of the effects of light and darkness as well as what is right now. The snow on the fields in the distance tells of weather past and to come. The pacing dog wants only the usual affection or food. The light in particular is exquisite on these annual bonsai days.
For all of us, I wish peace most of all, and all the gumption and grace to make and keep re-making that peace. I also share this poem from my book Landed to mark the world gathering up more light.
Winter Solstice: 4:22 p.m.
The blunt air morning-stark,
a glass light that levels everything,
makes me forget my intention for this or that,
the insistent hands home to roost
even if my walk is sodden.
Trees gleam like bronze etchings
rising from the cacophony of
cell phone rings, car tires’ turnings.
The night must have its way
even against the snow geese slightly lost
until they find their rut in the wind.
The solstice is a bird with feathers so black
they mirror the buildings, then lift
to land back to this date in time as if time
never left its perch. The motion of breath,
or a wayward finger tapping on the wooden desk
aged by light. The inward turn of stillness,
a slight sway as if standing on a bus, holding
tight to the bar when the wheels mount a sharp corner
and something completely new appears.
Solstice and then the world at this point
flips over, begins arming itself