Monday, January 8, 2018

As the Year Begins

 The annual Solstice Bonfire has become the New Year Fire.  The start of the path through the woods had this welcoming leaf, and the option to walk into the woods before the parade with the banners and bagpiper.  We took the long serpentine walk, my dearest steadied on uneven terrain by his cane.  I found a tall Y shaped stick to steady myself and off we went.  We couldn't see the site for the fire until we were right upon it. 
 Pretty soon the rest of the people came into the woods following the children carrying banners of the moon and wildlife, with our piper Marty and a drummer leading the  way.
 It just takes moments for the group to start this huge fire.  The wood is all invasive species that keep out the native trees.  This is an old grove of oaks, coming back, thanks to the hard work of volunteers and stewards of the Somme Woods.
 These signs are so beautifully done.  This one made me think of Mark Hirsch, and That Tree.  That Tree is a  Bur Oak in a field somewhere in Wisconsin.  Mark took photos of it every day for a year. 
When the weather gets better we plan on going and seeing her for ourselves.  Check out his Facebook page.  He walks the valley of That Tree often, and shares it as a Facebook Live.  It's peaceful, beautiful and inspiring.
 Once lit the fire took over that stack of trees in a minute.
 The smoke towered over the woods.
 My guy had a rosy glow, we loves this part.  Feeling the heat, watching the flames.
This was the fastest burning fire in the four years we've been attending.
We got to say hello to Marty our piper (as I will always call him) and so many friendly people.  It's a favorite part of the winter for us.
Walking in the woods, especially in winter, restores the spirit, is meditative and almost like a prayer.
 Though it's winter outside, we've had some life growing within.
 The amaryllis I planted right after Thanksgiving bloomed.  It's stunning double bloom is the prettiest I've ever seen.
 There are three more buds, with the second one opening this morning.
 I saw a photo that Tracy Porter posted with jars with ivy and other plants growing.  I remembered (then totally forgot) that at the end of the growing season I took a few cuttings of my English Ivy Wreath and put them into a large glass jar on the windowsill in the dining room.  I put a lace curtain up around Thanksgiving and had not thought of the ivy since.  There it was, poking through the lace, a reminder I'm sure.  "Hey, I'm out here!"
 I filled the jar that was almost empty. So sweet to see a little green with the snow.
 The poinsettia is holding it's own...not growing but still here.
This Norfolk Island Pine has been here for years.  Once it was one of those tiny Christmas Trees in the floral section of the grocery store, covered in tiny ornaments.   On our very first Christmas together, my dearest asked what I wanted for Christmas.  I told him I wanted a Blue Spruce, having just visited Colorado for the first time.  He couldn't find a Spruce but found a little Norfolk Island Pine.  I was thrilled!  That little pine lived in my bedroom, the only light in our city house came through the front or back windows. My bedroom faced the gangway, the space between the houses.  (it might be a Chicago thing) No light, just what was reflected by the neighbor's house.  I think it was love that helped that tree live for a lot longer than it should have.  This tree reminds me of that Christmas.  I guess this pine is living on love too.
On Thursday we had a little Christmas with Mike and Amanda.  They had some dinner and took home the rest of the  Christmas cookies.   I didn't go overboard this year.  I made enough to fill all the trays for family and friends.  There we just a few dozen left. Amanda liked her Christmas gifts.  So nice to have them close.  (I just can't say it enough!)
 We had other  visitors. Kris and Penny came and stayed over.  We spent the day together on Friday.  Played games, talked and Penny drew pictures of her favorite toys.  On Saturday we shopped and thrifted.  It was so good to spend time when we didn't HAVE to do anything. 
 If you're wondering how this girl is feeling after her growing pains, well, she was jumping like a crazy person on the mattress before we could bring it back upstairs.
Then sliding down the stairs, to which I am expected to say, Ouch! That's gonna Hurt! or something equally hilarious as she comes down each step.  What a pleasure it is to spend time just goofing off with the ones we love! 

Still taking down Christmas, but thought this little bird could hang around for a while.

Thought for the day...
"Maybe this year. we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives not looking for flaws, 
but looking for potential."
Ellen Goodman

Thanks so very much for stopping by and for your friendship.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny


Jeanie said...

Oh, the bonfire looks like such fun! Very cold, too -- I'll bet the heat was welcome!

I loved seeing your Norfolk pine -- I've never been able to keep one alive!

Lynne said...

Loved hearing about that tradition Penny . . .
Must be wonderful to be there to witness.

Happy growing pains subside enough to do some jumping!

Love your LOVE and LIFE . . .