If you’re reading Mary Oliver’s Twelve Moons as a lunar calendar with me this year, it’s time for a Christmas poem for today’s last quarter moon, Stark County Holidays.
I love some of the lines this poem offers. “We sit like heroes trading tales” reminds me of more than a few family gatherings in my own experience. There’s a poignancy to the lines, “Now, less than we meant to be/We watch the night and feed the fire.” It would be sad, indeed, to feel that way.
‘Tis the season to dwell on depressing family gatherings, a common theme in our society, unfortunately. It’s the main source of drama and comedy in our seasonally-themed entertainments. I spoke recently of the bittersweetness of Christmas. This all too common form of that I can do without.
Of course, living semi-remotely, family gatherings are a rare occasion for us, so they haven’t devolved into an annual ordeal as it seems to have for some families. Thank goodness for that. True, the gatherings that do occur may not be perfect, but perhaps the fact that we don’t expect them to be prevents ours from becoming depressing in the first place?
We hiked out yesterday and got our first look around after recent high winds. We found that a configuration of windfalls we’ve come to know and even trust got blown apart. I want to hike up there today to have another look at it, see if I can figure out exactly what happened. There’s a good-sized tree across the trail. It appears to be a tree that had broken in half about 20-30 feet above the forest floor. The top part fell and lodged in between two trees growing close together.We’ve been watching it carefully, even though we had been pretty convinced it would never actually fall. Looks like it could after all. I’m mighty glad we weren’t around when it happened.