WInter is here! December has come! It's Christmas in the Raggedy Garden! The dark comes early, and it stays late. There's only a skim of daylight in December. But I can put up some christmas lights, and light some candles and sit in the dark with the star shine and the cold December moon. The snow lights up the dark, too, reflecting the moon and the stars. Making magic. The Paper Whites are blooming, with their subtle scent, another white glow in the darkness. One can't grow anything in the December garden, so one must grow things in doors.
There is the fun of going out to pick greens, for decorating, and red berries. Red berries are at a premium this year. I cannot find many at all. The Shiva's have two beautiful holly bushes at their house, but the birds have definitely beat us to those red holly berries. I settle for an arm load of bright, prickly holly branches, sans berries. The cedar smells so fresh and clean, and the hemlock and pine add more incense. The birds are flocking to the feeder. It needs to be filled daily. The bright red cardinals light up the brown, wintery lilac bush and add their persistant cheep to the sounds of the day. The wood box needs constant filling, the stoves constant feeding, and we are warm and cozy.
This small girl comes into my kitchen every December, for many years now, an old familair friend. Oh, the baking, kneading, cooking, stirrring that goes on in the Raggedy Garden kitchen in December! The house smells pleasantly of cardamon and cinnamon and chocolate. The best thing, though, are the friends that flow through it. The river of friends who come through the door, bringing fresh air, and laughter, and song and good will. They drink coffee and share tasty morsels and bless the Raggedy Garden with with life and love. The old ghosts come in too. Sweeping in with the wind and we feel them here with us when the lights are dim and the fire is low. Jolly old friends bringing oranges, old aunts and grandmothers bearing gifts and tarts. Babies who played on the worn wood floors who grew up and traveled far away. A young girl with a new train set, driving her train around and round the track, her long blonde hair sweeping the floor, until the batteries wore out. Now she has her own home, no more train, her hair gone short. I like them here, sometimes on December nights, old happy memories to keep me company.
Snow shoes wait by the door. Waiting for enough snow to take someone on a hike. Across the unbroken drifts to the silent woods, to the muffled brook, to the windy hill top. Come with me, whispers the wind. Come find the hidden places, come find the tracks of the deer, the place where the otters play, the birds nests swaying in the trees.
With December comes the end of the year. With all it joy and gladness there steals a soft footstep of sadness. For this year can never be again. We must face bravely a new one, and make of it what joy we choose. Find within ourselves beauty, and faith and love and compassion to rise up and cover the darkness and evil . Lift our eyes to the sky and let our lights shine , reflecting the light of heaven.
December sun sets on the Raggedy Garden. Auld Lang Syne.