Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Moments

Seasons Greetings, everyone! Christmas Eve and the start of Hanukkah this evening - lovely to have this time of celebration with family and friends, near and far. I love the Christmas lights on homes and trees, fires in the grate and candles on the mantel. This is the darkest stretch of the year with the sun descending soon after four o'clock in Ottawa so the lights are little beacons of hope to warm the night and bring some cheer.

So, we have the Christmas songs playing and I'm making final preparations for supper tonight and a turkey dinner tomorrow. The gifts are wrapped and the wine is cooling. It's time to relax and enjoy the anticipation.

As you take a moment to catch your breath and enjoy the afternoon, I thought I'd share a a few lines from poem I've always loved, written by Canadian poet Archibald Lampman around 1900.

A January Morning

The glittering roofs are still with frost; each worn
Black chimney builds into the quiet sky
Its curling pile to crumble silently,
Far out to westward on the edge of morn,
The slender misty city towers up-borne
Glimmer faint rose against the pallid blue;
And yonder on those northern hills, the hue
Of amethyst, hang fleeces dull as horn.

Such a beautiful image of winter. I sometimes used to think of this poem as I rode the bus early mornings to work in the downtown. There's a spot where we'd reach the top of a hill on Scott Street and the centre core of buildings would stretch into the sky with the Ottawa River and Gatineau Hills to the left. On the frosty winter mornings with the sun half-risen, the smoke from buildings would hang suspended in the violet-black sky. I'd feel this warmth inside that I recapture when I read this poem.

Christmas Eve is a time to stop and be moved by the beauty of the winter season, and so I wish each of you your own moments of peace, joy and warmth as you celebrate the holidays.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukkah and much happiness in 2017.


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