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Monday, December 21, 2009

A Christmas visit on Solstice Day

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male junco


In the darkest day I looked for light. Shadows needed to be brightened
with divine announcements - to be redeemed in the filth and the hollows -
a chink of sunrise when starvation there
and fear here set the stone table.

Then a bird, fleeing the sparrow hawk,
flew against the window with his body, and fell, dazed.
He was invited in to perch in the eternal tree where an electric candle
on the bough's tip is a star in the tar of night.

Oh sweet birdie, warm up, calm yourself, catch your wits
in the Life of the star, the very one that bridges night to day.
Be revived, reborn, released - and fly away.


Listen to a podcast of this poem here.


Happy Solstice Merry Christmas Happy New year
To all of you, my dear friends -

be free, into a new day.



This writing began in inspiration from Elizabeth Jennings' poem The Annunciation, which I read in a small volume of Christmas Poems edited by John Hollander and J.D. McClatchy - which I won in a drawing at beautiful Pamela's blog From the House of Edward. Then, mid-sentence, the advent of this visitor.


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70 comments:

Susan said...

Oh, I hope he survived! They so often don't. How kind of you to bring him inside for warmth and rejuvenation...and how kind of you to bless us with this lovely poem.

Dearest Ruthie, I hope you have the happiest of holidays!

Claudia said...

Merry Christmas!

Shari said...

For real? What a sweet picture.

Loring Wirbel said...

Now we enter the hours of magic. Bird knows this.

Kamana said...

what a sweet birdie. have a fabulous christmas!

Delphyne said...

Very nice - words and picture!

Anet said...

Such a sweet photo and poem.
Merry Solstice to you Ruth:)

*jean* said...

oo ruth....how did you get that photo??? stunning and so beautiful!! happy winter to you and yours....

Dee Dee said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours Ruthie, that's the sweetest story. Your picture is just magical.I can almost touch the pine needle. I hope the birdy left healthy.

Mama Zen said...

Gorgeous!

CottageGirl said...

Sweet, miraculous and yet simple. Some of the best presents are from Mother Nature.
Lovely, Ruth. Just lovely!

ellen abbott said...

Happy solstice. We welcome back the sun.

shicat said...

What a great photo Ruth,i feel like I could reach out and touch it. Winter solstice now the day's grow longer,a minute a day,i believe?

ds said...

"A star in the tar of night..." Glad you were there to rescue that bird, and to write this poem. Thank you.
Happy solstice, happy Christmas, happy winter!

Gwen Buchanan said...

WoW!!! Such a perfect moment....

Congrats on the win, Rut, you lucky thing!!



...the colors in the photograph are so gorgeous... it is just perfect... You surely have a magic touch...

a Most Merry Christmas season to you!!

Babs-beetle said...

Beautiful!

Ginnie said...

You have a thing with birds, Ruth! First the bluebird and now this.... It does give me pause! How beautiful.

Christina said...

Stunning!
Happy Holidays to you, my dear friend.
xo

ewix said...

What a marvelous bird!
Season's greetings
and all best wishes

Ruth said...

Dear Susie, he seemed ok when he flew away! We really thought he might be dying.

Ruth said...

Thank you, sweet Claudia. Thinking of you away from your parents this year.

Ruth said...

Yes, Shari, for real. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Coming from you, Loring, the word magic has stayed with me for two days. I've been researching the yule log, looking for magic.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Kamana! He was so still and lethargic, which made it easy to photograph him. Sad!

Ruth said...

Thank you, and Merry Christmas, Delphyne to you and your loved ones.

Bella Rum said...

Very beautiful, Ruth. The winter solstice is an important day for us. My grandson was born on Dec.21, in the midst of a family crisis. I've always thought it was fitting for him to arrive on such a hopeful day, a day that symbolizes rebirth.
Happy holidays to you and your family.
Bella

Jet said...

Your blog is very nice :) .I really like it !
Merry X'mas !


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Ruth said...

Thank you, sweet Anet. Love to your family.

Ruth said...

Thank you, blue jean, blue is my favorite winter color.

Ruth said...

Oh hello, Dee Dee. I love you. Yes, he seemed healthy when he left. He would have enjoyed a foot massage I think. I hope all the chilluns have a wonderful time with you this Christmas.

Ruth said...

Thank you, MamaZen. He was sweet, and scary quiet and still.

Ruth said...

I agree, CottageGirl. We couldn't create anything like this. It just happened. Thankfully.

Ruth said...

Ellen, imagine how it used to be. People didn't know if they would survive winter.

trancedental wisdomkeeperandother foolishness said...

I love your site!! Been following for awhile~~
Merry Christmas from Colorado!

dutchbaby said...

Incredible photo, startling poem.

My family can tell you how much I look forward to longer days. Enjoy your holidays, dear Ruth!

Ruth said...

Cathy, he was so soft.

Just a minute a day? It always seems to go so fast.

California Girl said...

Beautiful work, as always, Ruth. Did the birdie make it?

Merry Christmas!

Relyn said...

In case I don't get by here tomorrow, and of course, it is highly unlikely, it being Christmas day and all. I wanted to wish you the happiest, the merriest, the laughingest Christmas you've ever enjoyed. Merry Christmas, my friend.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Oh my gosh... I didn't mean rut, ... big difference in the meaning of rut and Ruth... absolutely opposite really....... sorry my dear!!

Ruth said...

Happy me to have you as a friend, dear DS!

Arti said...

Thanks for the beautiful poem, Ruth. My heartfelt wishes to you and yours for a blessed Christmas and the warmest family time together.

Ruth said...

Hello Gwen, my dear friend. I knew you didn't mean to say "Rut" - but I have used that in email addresses in the past, so it is a perfectly acceptable version of my name. :)

Good, deep, beautiful, happy moments to you, John, Max and the animals.

Jeanie said...

Lovely. I do so hope he made it!

Merry Christmas, Ruth!

Ruth said...

Bless you, Babs!

Ruth said...

Boots, what's up with that?! Who am I to question why? I love it, you know.

Ruth said...

Thank you, dear Christina. Much love.

Ruth said...

Hello, Elizabeth, and happy Christmas to you and your loved ones. Thank you!

Renee said...

The writing is beautiful darling Ruth.

Merry Christmas.

Love Renee xoxo

Ruth said...

Sweet Bella, somehow, I know that your grandson holds something special for you this year. Just a feeling, and a knowing. A little bird told me.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Jet, Happy Christmas to you and your wallpapers.

Ruth said...

Well thank you and hello, TWKAOF, how nice.

rauf said...

oh the bird is not afraid of you Ruth, perhaps wants to spend Christmas with you.
Very sharp and lovely picture
Merry Christmas to you Don Lesley Brian, Peter, Bishop and the sparrow

Ruth said...

Merry, merry Christmas, my dear Dutchbaby. Let the light come. Well, it will come whether we let it or not!

Ruth said...

Yes, sweet California Girl, he flew away. We were so relieved.

Happy happy Christmas to you and your loved ones.

Ruth said...

Oh thank you, Relyn. We already had a merry Christmas Eve, so much fun, even if it did mean Don had to go to the store for buttermilk for a special recipe today.

Ruth said...

He did, he did, dear Jeanie! Hope he survives another day of stormy weather today. Happy Christmas to you and Rick!

Ruth said...

Thank you, lovely Renee. Happy Christmas to you and your husband and beautiful family.

Ruth said...

Dear rauf, he was so still, and I think he was too stunned to be afraid. Thank you, and Happy Christmas to you, Rokhia, Rameeza, Haseena, Moin Ruby and your BIL. Please give PPP a little pat too.

Montag said...

Beautifully done.
Merry Christmas.

Renee said...

Merry Christmas dear Ruth.

Love Renee xoxo

♥ Kathy said...

I hope you had a great Christmas Ruth ♥

Jeanie said...

Glad to read down and discover he made it!

CottageGirl said...

I think that I I totally failed to tell you that the picture of the bird is absolutely splendid. Best yet!!!!!!

Ruth said...

Thanks, Montag.

Ruth said...

Love to you, dear Renee.

Ruth said...

♥ Kathy, I hope you have a terrific 2010.

Ruth said...

Poor thing, Jeanie, he was so quiet. I thought he was dying.

Ruth said...

Oh thank you, CottageGirl, thank you for coming back to tell me. It's sad that the only way I can get a good bird photo is when they hit the window. :|

deb said...

How thoughtful... to place the little guy in your tree to revive.

What an experience , really, and the photo is exquisite.
We are getting juncos here finally, after almost 15 years in the subdivision. I'd never really heard of them before. Isn't life odd and wonderful.

speaking of which.. it was a bit jarring and bittersweet to see Renee's comment and avatar above. She spread such joy.

Ruth said...

Deb, juncos are really quite beautiful birds, and sweet.

Yes, it's sad to see and miss Renee here. Her capacity for love was astonishing. Still, it goes on, I think.