The black scribble of naked tree branches on the slate of winter sky is a very pleasing visual poem.
It’s been brightly sunny and bitterly cold the last few days. I stood at my window this morning, watching the frost crystals dissolve as the heat from the radiator reached them, and I suddenly had the most vivid memory. When I was growing up, winter mornings in Vermont were very dark and very cold. My brother and I would jockey for position over the furnace vent, by far the most comfortable place to be while breakfast was cooking. It was on his side of the table, but I was older. When I stood in front of it, my long flannel nightgown would billow out, full of warm air. The thing I remembered just today is that while I stood there, warming my toes, I’d press my fingertips in a circle against the frost crystals in the windowpane to make a flower pattern. I liked the way the tiny resulting trickle of water refrosted in miniscule formations at the edge of the fingerprints. Microscopic worlds of crystals, frosted hands and warm feet and NPR on the radio and the smell of breakfast.
I came across this poem through an exchange on Twitter last week, and I love it. The last two lines seem incredibly familiar, and I can’t decide if that’s because I’ve read it somewhere before or because they are so exactly what they ought to be that they seem to have always existed. This is via Joe Saunders, who did a very lovely blog post a while back to go with it. You should read it. You can also listen to the author reading this poem here.
Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden
Sundays too my father got up early
And put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.
I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,
Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?
I’m making a conscious effort to get a little ahead of myself so that my weekends aren’t so jam-packed with to-do list things. So I spent some time this weekend pulling beads together for holiday designs. Most of them won’t be in the shop for a while yet, but it felt cozy to be enjoying crisp, cool weather and gathering up sparkling silvers and whites for winter wear.
Here’s a preview of what will be in the shop tomorrow, though – I played all weekend in the beadyard, so there will be several new earring designs and two new necklaces this week.
(Keep an eye on Leaves of Glass, too – there are several new pieces that will list there tomorrow as well.)
I love this bird, from her tiny boots and chilly winter blush to her feathery tail. Birds of My Mind, Black Capped Chickadee; by Keighty Crochet.