I bought them late, in December, snuggled them among glass stones, poured in gin water. I didn’t expect them to bloom so quickly, for the stalks to shoot up so taut and green once the bulbs were fed, didn’t expect to see the blossom already swelling inside its green casing. Two of the groupings I made have opened into paperwhites, the small fragrant blossoms that are such a contrast to the brown bulb that begins and then feeds them. The paperwhites are in the dining room, kitchen, living room….taking the place of the Christmas decorations I’ve so firmly put away, before a stray sorrow from Christmas past can find me and puncture my carefully restored peace with the season. Somehow there is a metaphor to these paperwhites. Somehow their fresh promise of opening comforts me––I always miss the frolic and red of put-away Christmas. It’s a new year. Without my realizing it, I placed something in my new year life that is already blossoming. What hope for me. I no longer believe in the resolutions I used to make––too many of them broken. I know without a doubt a year may bring sorrow and challenge as well as joy. But I can watch the paperwhites open. (I’m a sucker for blossoms….once I saw the paperwhites were going to take, I explored around to see what else was there. The Christmas cactus, always late, had budded tips, one or two grown to near blossom stage. And I opened the front door and saw a cameilla bud still tight and small, but its color showing––impossible that the many petaled beauty that will emerge can all be in that bud, but it is. And one rose on the climber offers butter yellow sweetness.)
It’s the promise in buds that I love so much….particularly if I know the flower that will unfurl. I wonder if God feels like that about us.
What’s your new year paperwhite?
Posted in Before Versailles, creativity, Dark Angels, Houston, Karleen Koen, life, Now Face to Face, story, story and theme, story and writing, theme, Through A Glass Darkly, writing, writing process
Tagged blossoms, buds, cameillas, Christmas, flowers make me happy, God, growing something new, new year's resolutions, paperwhites, roses
Walking my not-yet-walking-year-old grandson (you know….you hold his hands and he staggers in front of you) in falling dusk as neighbors’ Christmas lights gleam and he gurgles and talks sing-song in genuine pleasure….so pleased with himself and the world….
Watching paperwhites stalks lurch up greenly….so greenly….(a little gin to the water helps)….seeing the fat bulge of the blossom hidden as yet by the green….knowing the white unfurling to come….
Talking with my nephew (his mother, my sister, dead 10 years)….he says, I love you, Aunt Karleen….and as I say I love you back, such a catch in my throat….it’s as if my sister’s spirit sits on my shoulder and in my heart…she’s with me for a moment, again….it happens too rarely, now…
Reading a hilarious note to Santa from my granddaughter….a note which asks him to sign where she has drawn a line to prove (prove being spelled proove) he’s real…..
Finding Christmas cards I like….lots of red in the illustration this year….loving the red, the art of the artist who drew the illustration….loving that this year there is time to do this ritual….wondering if in 10 years there will even be paper cards to buy….thinking it all moves on and on…..
Stepping back as my daughter and daughter-in-law begin to take Christmas into their own hands….where I am the guest to their doings….feeling odd and old but liking their fledgling maneuvers…. thinking, it all moves on and on and on….
What was your song this season?
Posted in Before Versailles, creativity, Dark Angels, family, fiction, Houston, Karleen Koen, life, love, Now Face to Face, story, story and life, story and love, Through A Glass Darkly, writing, writing process
Tagged 2010, 2011, best things in December, Christmas cards, gin, grandchildren, little things that add up to a lot, paperwhites, plants that make me happy, the importance of grandchildren, this touched my heart