“Christmas hangs in the fog
but I can see it for miles
For holly red bulbs
I go, I go!
And you are there
you trip and fall
I love you even more.”
I took a walk in sunshine and green fields today, but I’ve got snow on my mind. I’m packing up my winter clothes and it feels so strange. The last time I wore those clothes I was a different person, I wasn’t a Mom. I tend to insert the twins into my memories, like I can’t imagine there was a time before they were born. But there was. There were 28 years before they came along. I know it yet I can’t believe it.
It will be their first winter, the first cold they’ve ever felt. The first snow, and it won’t happen naturally. They won’t see leaves changing and falling, or feel warm air turn crisp before it gets cold. They’ll doze off in their stroller surrounded by banana trees and towering eucalyptus, strawberry guavas in bloom, and air warm and moist as cake from the oven. They’ll wake up to crackling dry air, threadbare trees and bitter cold. And more love, and people who love them, then they can possibly imagine. There will be beauty too. What’s more beautiful then freshly fallen snow?
I’ve missed winter. I can’t wait to feel it again.
One of my missions when I get there is to visit old haunts. Specifically, musty old squeaky floor bookstores looking for one book in particular. Eggs by Fanny Howe. Its one of my favorite books of poetry, and it was lost somewhere in the 5000 or so miles between New England and this island. I’ve been thinking of that book a lot lately, particularly the part I wrote above. Of course, that’s only part of a poem and my memory has probably jarbled it in some way. I bought the book in a coffee shop when I was a teenager. I’m hoping I can’t find it again, though it won’t be easy. Its rare. Not valuable (in terms of money anyway) but rare.
I love poems that remind me of simple, wonderful things that I often forget or overlook. During the girls walk today I pulled out the stroller shade to block the sun shining in their eyes and noticed a pile of orange peels. It made me laugh. It was jungledad. He had left in a hurry the last time he pushed the stroller because the girls were so fussy. I threw him an orange on the way out because he was thirsty and he must have peeled it as he walked. It put a sweet image in my mind.
It was an island orange. They are yummy and tangy, but sorry looking. They aren’t spray painted a uniform neon orange like the ones you find in a supermarket. They aren’t shiny or smooth. They’re all different shades of orange, mostly light, some so light they look like lemons. They’re rarely perfectly round, often misshapen.The skin is dirty and full of flaws. They taste a thousand times better than those waxy painted oranges. It must be the character.
That’s just it. There’s no perfect fruit. No perfect climate, no perfect island, no perfect babies, and most certainly, no perfect parents. There are many things, however, that are close to perfect. Especially at the holidays. Love. Humor. Forgiveness. Strength. Compassion. Generosity. Snowflakes. A good book. A great poem….
Got any more?