Last night, just before dusk, I walked around gathering the croquet mallets and put them in the barn, before the predicted rain today. My daughter came out to fold towels thrown over the railings, and we listened to geese fly overhead.
That morning, I woke remembering the fall she was a year-and-a-half, and I was frantically mailing maple syrup — as if mail-ordering maple would be a cash cow, although a very small one.
To that younger mother of myself, I think, Slow down. Decades of evenings lie ahead.
I finally take my own advice to myself. I don’t weed a patch of the garden where I’d been heading. I listen to my daughter, and then she heads out into the gloaming, on a solitary walk.
…Rich fresh wine
of June, we stagger into you smeared
with pollen, overcome as the turtle
laying her eggs in roadside sand.
Snow came recently to our small part of the world. As the year turns around again, this quiet time seems right for pausing, for a reckoning up of last year’s affairs, and what might come for the future. Perhaps, most of all, it seems the right time to cup our hands full of prayers, in gratitude – and the desire to keep full of gratitude.
On New Year’s Day
Bless this my house under the pitch pines
where the cardinal flashes and the kestrels hover
crying, where I live and work with my lover
Woody and my cats, where the birds gather
in winter to be fed and the squirrel dines
from the squirrel-proof feeder. Keep our water
bubbling up clear. Protect us from the fire’s
long teeth and the lashing of the hurricanes
and the government. Please, no foreign wars.
Keep this house from termites and the bane
of quarreling past what can be sweetly healed.
Keep our cats from hunters and savage dogs.
Watch with care over Woody splitting logs
and mostly keep us from our sharpening fear
as we skate over the ice of the new year.