In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago. ∼Christina Rossetti
This is the first verse of a poem by Christina Rossetti, which was later set to music and became a beloved Christmas carol. I’m working on a Liz Story arrangement of it for my piano lessons. Lexi, besides being a good friend is also my piano teacher; she and I decided that even though Christmas is past, winter certainly isn’t. The snow just keeps on coming. Fortunately, the view out our back windows is stunning and the music is serene and beautiful, even when I’m playing it.
Still. Hard to forget that last year at this time we were strolling in the heat of Key West down to Saluté for their fabulous caprese salad with avocado. Yum. Tom and Lexi gave us this for Christmas . . .
. . . as a reminder of the afternoons we shared on that very patio for a few days last January. I miss all the flowers (and the blues), but the grocery store occasionally yields a few beauties to tide me over until spring . . .
David and I are both loving it here in our new home, but at the same time, missing France and dreaming of our next trip to La Rochelle, maybe in 2017. Here’s my favorite surprise gift for David this Christmas . . . →
. . . a real vintage French Hellem Cafetière, like the one Pascale and Jacky would bring out sometimes at the end of a meal, mostly for the fun of it, I think. There are definitely easier ways to make coffee, though we’re loving the memories.
Unfortunately, flowers and treasured memories have not been all there has been to this season. A few weeks ago, Tom and Lexi’s darling three-and-a-half-year-old grandson, Sam, was discovered to have a huge tumor on one of his kidneys and diagnosed with cancer. Emergency surgery, tests, worry, more tests, and lots of prayer have filled the last few weeks. The latest tests have been very positive and he’s finally back home, slowly healing, but what an ordeal for Sam and his family, and it’s not quite over yet.
So I’d think of them and pray, and play beautiful music on the piano, that when I’d get it right, was almost like praying without words.
When the winter sun rises cold and clear through the trees, the shifting patterns of sun and shadow make me think of the rhythm of all of life, that can switch in a heartbeat from the sun-soaked days of joy to the soul-piercing hard times and, fortunately, sometimes back again.
I used to think that somewhere along the line, I’d find the key to that perfect life . . . and that once I had it, every day would be golden and easy, and everything would fit. But life isn’t like that. There are only perfect, glowing moments . . . and then there are the everyday moments that weave them together into a shimmering path that can always be seen, even in the dark. ∼Kristan Higgins
Wishing you glowing moments to light the dark along the way.
Please keep Sam and family in your thoughts and prayers!