Once upon a time when baby had trouble going to sleep we played soothing songs on our phones until she drifted off
and baby grew (that is what babies do) so that now when we put baby down to sleep she cries for a minute and then she sings and sings to her own little self without any words a sound purer than songs of birds
(know that I am outside your door beloved baby tears in my eyes listening listening to your own angelic lullaby)
Not sure what triggers it… but for a moment I am a child in my grandparent’s house, in the tiny kitchen with tongue-and-groove walls painted soft yellow, empty dinner dishes on the table, Granddaddy in his plaid shirt pouring coffee in his saucer to cool it, Grandma in her apron serving flaky biscuits from the oven, Granddaddy grasping the thick glass bottle with the dark blue label reading King Po-T-Rik, adorned with a lion’s head, the dark, dark molasses drizzling into pool on my plate, his handing me a buttered biscuit, me sopping molasses with it… it is heaven, it is home, home, home, it is a hundred, a thousand years ago, and right now, in my remembering…the old ways, they stay, forever, forever, forever.
King Po-T-Rik molasses was manufactured from the early 1900s to 2015. No other molasses compares to it. As an adult, I once went to a country buffet that had molasses and biscuits. I poured the brown richness on my plate and sopped it with a biscuit, just like Granddaddy and I used to do, One of the old men, watching me, said: ‘That’s old-school…” and I was proud.
I’d go back and sop with you in a minute, Granddaddy. There’s much to be said for the old ways.
History believed in your magic power Object of healing and deliverance from evil Legend made you a crown for Saturn’s brow Lore of Druids: tree of eternal life, that lightning won’t strike Yuletide of yore endures
The holly tree was believed to have eternal life as it remained green in winter when other trees appeared to die. It is a symbol of endurance. This lovely specimen grows by the playground of the school where I work. Stuff of ancient legends and lore aside, its merry, festive appearance is a spirit-lifter here on the cusp of winterbreak…
Come December, I’m remembering you in the lights and silent night —how years, like snow and feathers, flew— Come December, I’m remembering you at sight of ruby-red cardinals, too. On the wings of the morning, all is bright… come December, I’m remembering you in the lights and silent night.
December is my grandmother’s month. She was born the day after Christmas, was married in the middle of the month at age 20, and died the day before Christmas Eve, at 90. She loved the season, children, cardinals, and the color red, symbolic of her name: Ruby. “Silent Night” was her favorite carol; whenever I hear it, she is near. Her home place and resting place are in the outskirts of a rural town named for the dawn… “on the wings of the morning” is borrowed from my favorite Psalm, 139, a hymn to the omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of God.
The cardinal ornament in the photo was a gift from a friend yesterday. I hung it on the tree last night after choir practice with the kids at church. They’re singing “Silent Night” in the worship service on Sunday.