Today it is snowy and cold and as happenstance would have it (or google connecting the dots) one of Mary Oliver’s poems popped into my feed about the snow. As I read it, I was struck by how much it felt like a poem of grief if only a few lines were changed.
So, here is my edit.
The grief - like snow
a soft and easy sprinkling
of flakes, then clouds of flakes
in the baskets of the wind
and the branches
of the trees ---
oh, so individual and unique.
through the growing stillness,
as the flakes
prickled the path,
then covered it,
as in curds and drifts,
as the wind grew stronger,
shaping its work
taking greater steps,
over the hills
and through the trees
we were cold,
and far from home.
and followed our long shadows back
to the house,
stamped our feet,
went inside, and shut the door.
Through the window
we could see
how far away it was to the gates of
Let the fire now
put on its red hat
and sing to us.
BY Mary Oliver - slight changes by SJF
I will admit that in the winter of my grief I freely took to warmer climates of friends and family, often traveling like a snowbird to the refuges where my soul was out of the harsh climate that felt like the long winter that never ends.
I’d say my “April” came much later, but like spring, my heart did feel the warmth of a changing season. I’ll try to recount that particular transformative day in another post.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. I am grateful for all I have and continue to experience.
Languages are a topic in our house these days. I am attempting to learn Spanish, so am often trying to converse with Devin in the limited Spanish that I have grasped thus far. Muy poco if I am honest. Devin has also picked up a new Xbox playing companion from Germany, so he has been talking about their conversations as this other player has never taken English. I guess this young man (19 yrs old) has learned all of the English he is speaking with Devin either on social media, YouTube or from the actual playing of the games with American counterparts. Devin claims this young German is neither difficult to understand nor does he miss much from what Devin converses about. Last night, as they were discussing the learning of English though these discussions, Devin asked the young lad if there was anything he had learned from Devin in the short period that they have been playing. He relayed that there was one phrase that he picked up that he had not heard anywhere. I’ll admit that my mind cringed at the thought of some of the language that has been shouted in the heat of some of the games and battles when I am not in the room. I was nearly ready to pen an apology letter to this lad’s mother, when Devin said that the phrase that the German fella hadn’t heard until Devin’s utterance was in calling someone (or maybe him, it wasn’t clarified) a “silly goose”. I busted out laughing as that phrase wouldn’t have crossed my mind as something learned between two cultures on Xbox in hundreds of guesses.
In other news, we lost the bees. Honey and bees were gone when I went out to check the hive recently. We will either get a new set of bees in the spring or may just let someone else use the protected hive space for them to try their hand at running a hive. One of Ted’s nurses is first on the list of someone who wants to have a hive and could use the space. We shall see what happens in the spring.
The universe always evens out, so with the loss of bees to care for, came a new dependent to care for.
Our neighbor who use to live next door, passed away this week and as I met with her daughter to help clear out her current space (she had asked in the will for me to handle her personal belongings), it was determined that no one had stepped forward to care for the only constant in her daily life these past 12 years or so – her cat. They had been feeding Birdie and visiting all they could since Barbara’s death, but poor Birdie was left alone in a small apartment with his human gone. They had put word out to as many people as possible, but still were not able to find someone to take him. It broke my heart to see him just sitting on her chair seemingly waiting for her return, so I said I would take him home until a home could be found.
Devin said he would let him stay in his room and after one night of having a purring snuggle buddy, it was relayed that we should just keep him and not try to get anyone else to take possession. I think the mutual comforting is healing for the both of them.
Thus far, Birdie has been a very chill and clean kitty that only brings more fond memories and stories of times when he was our neighbor and not our pet.