One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

Good Yule

It’s funny to think that barely two weeks ago I was planting daffodils and in one short not-quite-twenty-four-hour period, our world could be completely transformed into this deep and snowy winter wonderland, but here’s how things looked as we greeted the sunny morning of the Winter Solstice.

The timing of the storm really couldn’t have been more perfect for us here, although all the folks who’d waited to do their Christmas shopping until the Last Sunday Before are likely to crankily disagree with me.   But the first flakes of the storm  didn’t appear for us until 10:30 Saturday  evening and most of the storm’s raging happened in the wee hours, when all but snow plow drivers – and lunatic bloggers who decide to stay up all night to take pictures – were  snug in bed.

But I can happily justify that, really, and I think those of you who’ve been reading along through this December might, too.   A variety of factors all came together well that day, not the least of which was a particularly successful evening at work…and the last big event there before Christmas.   So as I drove home that evening, I was feeling really very merry finally.

Which is why I was out there in the first spinning snowflakes, stringing colored lights along the porch railing and around the morning glory trellace.  And the staying up all night to take pictures was honestly as much about staying up all night to keep nearly two feet of snow from building up on a deck of already dubious strength.

In between regular trips out there to sweep things off and take pictures, though, I was also digging more Christmas decorations out of the closet to dress the nest up a little more, with icicles and other ornaments dangling from my suspended pothos vine and such.

I’ve always been fascinated with the way one unpacks memories along with the unpacking of Christmas tree ornaments, the stories of where they come from, what the ornament was meant to represent, what other things were going on the year that ornament joined the others on the tree.

Each glittering bauble is a time capsule, releasing memory into the pine-scented air.  And is that a sentimental old fool I smell, as well?  What of it.

I barely scratched the surface of my ornament collection, but I did manage to tease out a few of my favorites, and along with them some fond memories of Christmases past.  And the place looks kind of festive now, too.

To the Catsby’s momentary dismay, somewhere around 2:30 a.m. I found the videotape of White Christmas (that link takes you to the movie, but this one‘s interesting reading, too)and popped that into the VCR.   I was already humming the song “Snow,” anyway, and I hadn’t seen the movie yet this holiday season.   In the last week, though, I’d found myself humming just about all the songs from the film, so I knew it wouldn’t be too much longer.

The snow just created the perfect moment for it.

There was something sort of perfect about this storm, the way it swept in and totally changed our landscape, just in time for Winter’s start the following afternoon.

That it was a sunny Solstice was a special treat, especially with all the snow on the ground.   I always feel like January and February are such dark and dismal times, but the truth is that once the 21st of December has come and gone, our moments in the sun are lengthening again, the days becoming incrementally longer.

I was happy to celebrate by actually getting to the beach Monday evening just in time for a frosty windblown sunset.   It may not sound like much of an accomplishment, but please keep in mind plowing snow out of beach parking lots is hardly a priority in the final shopping days before Christmas.

I just read the other day that birdsong actually increases and decreases with the cycles of the sun, so now that we’ve celebrated the Solstice, be sure to listen for more of that now, too.

Before we even know it, there’ll be warm breezes off the bay and barefoot frolicking in newly-blossomed gardens.

Who couldn’t smile thinking about that?


Comments on: "Good Yule" (5)

  1. The sunset pictures are incredible! The snow looks so pretty everywhere. I like how you’ve arranged your ornaments around the room. Love the Wonder Woman ornament!

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Merry Christmas, Greg, and may your new year blossom abundantly.

  3. Sending you Christmas Wishes – Love the Snow Pictures.

  4. That’s kinda how I felt when I got back from Cuba. When I left, I still had flowers blooming on the deck. Upon return, frozen wasteland of snow and ice. Lovely pictures. Have a wonderful holiday Greg!

  5. Lovely. The snow is beautiful. Like your decorations, and I always have to watch White Christmas every year too.

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