Friday, February 07, 2020

On Friday: Flowers, a Poem, and Light

The few wet flakes that fell on Tuesday hardly constituted a snowfall, but it was awfully pretty watching it come down. Morning snow is a gift of beauty, particularly when enjoyed from the inside a cozy home with a mug of tea to hand. The pansies have been torn and shredded by the wind and rain, but their colour is a welcome note in all the grey outside. 

Just this morning, without snow, and surprisingly, without rain, I read a poem by Malcolm Guite, an Anglican priest in the UK, that speaks, in his own words, "to those of us who crave the light and are naturally, and seasonally, cast down by the darkness and drench of winter, those of us for whom there is a hidden pact between the outer and inner weather." Here is his sonnet - and I confess to tears pricking my eyes as I read and remembered my own winters of the soul.

These bleak and freezing seasons may mean
When they are memory. In time to come
When we speak truth, then they will have their place,
Telling the story of our journey home,
Through dark December and stark January
With all its disappointments through the 
and dreariness of frozen February,
When even breathing seemed unwelcome work.

Because through all of these we held together,
Because we shunned the impulse to let go,
Because we hunkered down through our dark
And trusted to the soil beneath the snow,
Slowly, slowly, turning a cold key
Spring will unlock our hearts and set us free.

In the dark mornings it's so lovely to turn on the twinkle lights around the window. I mentioned to Tim that I was more reluctant to use these mini lights than the larger plug-in variety because of the consumption of batteries. It's expensive and not very eco-friendly to replace them. 

So my handy husband did some investigating and placed an online order, and in not very long at all, a small package arrived. Another 10 minutes of fiddling and voila! the lights are now electric. Amazing! He bought enough of the gadgets to do all of our LED twinkle light strings, but this is the only one he's gotten to. Such a smart man!

Although we've had enormous amounts of rain lately, around 8 pm on the past two evenings, there has been a cessation of water, and we've taken walks in the dark. It's squishy underfoot in the woods, with streams of water running down the sloping paths, but the air is so fresh and cool. Along the streets, light streams from houses and I can see bookcases and pictures on the walls, and all the cozy things that make a home. I wish and hope that there is much love behind the windows I see. 

In the dark, after we climbed the little hill to our home and saw our own home lights glowing, I crouched to pick a little bouquet of snowdrops from the patch underneath the holly bush. They are such pretty flowers and their season is almost done. 

It's time now to get on with my day, which involves teaching three classes, two Spanish and one Foods. New friends are coming for dinner tonight, and I hope the rest of the weekend holds some time for creativity and reading and a good long walk or two. 

Happy weekend, my friends!


  1. A little bunch of snowdrops lightens the spirits.

  2. Hi Lorry, I love your blog, which I visit frequently, but have not commented previously. I love that you teach spanish.
    Best wishes from Guanajuato Mexico.

  3. Hi Lorrie,

    This is such a thoughtful and thought-provoking post. The poem definitely speaks to the darkness and melancholy that winter can bring. Hal and I read years ago that it's not the cold that affects people so much, as the lack of light, in winter. That's certainly true of me! Our house doesn't get a lot of natural light, and so I have lamps on all day in the winter -- mainly in the den and kitchen where I spend most of my time. My mom fusses at me about using too much electricity, but we have switched to all LED bulbs, so I don't feel a bit guilty.

    I love the lights around your window -- such a cheerful addition! Your flower photos are so pretty, and they make me look forward to spring. :) I like seeing people's lighted, cozy homes through the windows, too. They're a beacon in the darkness many times.

    Thank you for your visit today; I hope you have a lovely, cozy weekend!!



  4. The lights are beautiful, a perfect place to read and dream.
    The last lines of the poem feel freeing. Today is the bad winter storm we've had at this elevation. Reading your blog helps lift the cold gloom that a heavy snowfall can create.

  5. I love your cheery flowers.Have a great weekend.

  6. Oh, Lorrie, how I envy you your bit of snow. All we got was rain and more rain and the wind! Oh My Gosh. How nice to see the snowdrops. Spring will get here eventually.

  7. Snowdrops are so sweet. So thankful that Spring comes after Winter. How nice that you could go out and walk in Winter. Happy weekend to you!

  8. Glad you were able to adapt the lights. The snowdrops were a delight to see and the sonnet a joy. I scrolled up and down to reread it a few times and it touched me each tie I re read it. Enjoy your weekend.

  9. I love some extra lighting in the house particularly at this time of year, but already happily it is getting so much lighter day by day. I have a string of red chilli lights that hang in the kitchen which I leave on day and night throughout the year. They use a very tiny amount of power but looks so bright and cheery. They have been burning brightly for the past four years, and I can't believe just how long they have lasted.

  10. I’ve come to know about Malcom Guite over the last few years. I appreciate his poetry, and find it very relatable.

    Thank you for always sharing beauty here in this space!

  11. Your first photo of the pansy peeping through the snow . . . gorgeous! I am not affected so much by winter melancholy, but I am close to people who are, so I get a glimpse of it. It can be so hard to wait for spring, but beautiful things are happening in the waiting!

  12. Those flowers look pitiful with the ice but they are so resilient! I didn't know you spoke Spanish too? Wow! And those twinkle lights are just what I need here in my house. I love the extra lights at Christmas and really would like to have them all during the winter months! Enjoy your weekend!

  13. Betty Foster10:32 AM

    Fresh flowers when there is snow on the ground,the best of both season's. Enjoy your weekend Lorrie.

  14. Dear Lorrie,
    I also like little lights. I have them lighting up one of my fountains. It is especially beautiful when it snows. My flowers are still sleeping under the I especially like seeing your pretty flowers.

  15. How beautiful. Snowdrops, daffodils in snow and pretty lights to brighten the gloom of February days:)

  16. The poem is perfect ... I understand and empathize with those who affected by SAD. .. You are making the most of your beautiful winter season (and it is really beautiful seen through your eyes). That was a great idea your handy husband had with the fairy lights.

  17. I love your twinkle lights. Perfect for winter nights. 😊 Kit

  18. Those darling snowdrops, how delightful they are. My garden is covered in them, has been since Christmas, yet I never think of picking a few for indoors. Sily me, I shall change that post haste.

    A lovely poem, if a little sombre for me just now. Ending, as it does, on renewed hope, makes it easier.

    So, twinkly lights are not just for Christmas. They’re very pretty.

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  20. It always amazes me to see flowers blooming on the West coast already!

    Glad your hubby found an eco-friendly solution the fairy lights!

  21. Guite really does convey the mood of our hearts! How they long to break free - of the mood! And from winter! Our little warm spell has passed and now we are hunkered down by the fire again, but it was so encouraging while it lasted. And the fire is nice :-)

  22. Such a beautiful collection of photographs … those snowdrops look wonderful.

    All the best Jan


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