December state of mind

Categories Poetry

Here we are: me and my daughters. My oldest is waving. See?

We’ve made it through November, one of the grayest months of the year, and yesterday we made another of our ongoing efforts to get outdoors and look for beauty in a season when I’ve usually hunkered down and faded into a depressed meditation on how long it will be till April.

It’s still deer season, but there is no hunting on this marsh. There is a pair of bald eagles that nest on the river nearby, and we’ve seen them fishing in the dead trees here before when we’ve driven by in the car. I was hoping we’d see them yesterday when we were on foot, but — no luck.

Against the colorlessness, these winterberries positively blazed.

Occasionally we got a peek at an Edenic, green-drenched bog. This one features a dead tree with its large root system covered with moss and facing the camera. There are several others along the edge. The scene has a primeval look.

Somehow the color and light this time of year are more brilliant (when the sun is out, at least).

My daughter wanted to call this picture the Jesse Tree, since it shows a young tree growing out of the upturned roots of another one.

Isaiah 11:1: “A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots.”

What a thought. This is the month of Christmas, marking the advent of a new strain of spiritual life altogether — this month when the trees are bare and the birds have gone south.

At least, most of them…

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.

‘We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,’
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.

–Oliver Herford, “I Heard a Bird Sing”

All in all a lovely hour on a sunny day. We lingered as long as we could.

Poetry Friday is at Carol’s Corner today.

7 thoughts on “December state of mind

  1. It’s a beautiful post-made my heart light to see your pictures, contemplate the lovely month of December, read the poem with a smile. All of your photos are gorgeous, but the one with the cardinal is my favorite. I live in Colorado now, no cardinals, but grew up in Missouri, lots. CHEER! CHEER!

  2. :-) They are here year-round, and such a spark of color in the winter!

    My daughters and I have been chanting the poem to each other all day. It would go well with a Gilbert and Sullivan tune…

  3. Oh, wow! The light in your photos is radiant!

    And this:

    “All in all a lovely hour on a sunny day. We lingered as long as we could.”

    What a poem in itself.

    Wow.

  4. Gorgeous, gorgeous all around – you’ve captured so much color and light, in the photos and words, that might go unnoticed by those who pass by too fast this time of year. Thanks for sharing here! And a high-five to your daughter for the “Jesse Tree” idea – brilliant.

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