Friday, December 01, 2006

She is December

"December is the year in age and wisdom, a woman with starlight in her frosted hair and a snowflake on her cheek and a sprig of holly on her coat. The light in her blue eyes is young as this morning and old as time. She has known youth and love and age and heartbreak, and she still can smile, knowing that life is not all of either. She is December, which is a kind of summation not only of one year but of all years' ending.

For December is bare trees and the evergreens, it is rustling weed stem in the ruthless wind and a partridgeberry on the hillside. It is ground pine, older than the hills where it grows, and it is a seedling maple from two years ago clinging to one last scarlet leaf. It is a stiff-tailed young squirrel scrambling up an oak tree, and it is a mask-faced coon in the moonlit cornfield, listening for the hounds. It is ice on the pond and lichen on the rock and a flock of chickadees in the pine thicket.

December is a blizzard in Wyoming and a gale on the Lakes and the Berkshires frosted like a plate of cupcakes. It's fir trees going to the cities by the truckload, and red ribbon by the mile and tinsel everywhere. It's so many days till You-Know-When. It's the Winter solstice and the shortest day, and it's a snow shovel and galoshes and a muffler round the neck. It's 30 below in Medicine Hat.

December is the hungry owl and the fugitive rabbit, the woodchuck abed and the crow all alone in the pasture. It's soup in the kettle and a log in the fireplace and long wool socks. It's a wind at the door and a whisper in the air and a hush on the evening when the carols are sung. It's the wonder and the glory, and the Nativity." -Hal Borland, Sundial of the Seasons

13 comments:

Endment said...

Another wonderful Hal Borland exerpt!
I can scarcely believe it is December - our temperature reached sixty-three degrees here today.

Mary said...

As described, December is a beautiful month! I can hardly believe it's December, either. Our temperature reached 76 today but it's cooling off now. Have you seen the midwest weather? Brrrrr.

Cathy said...

This is so lovely - I think I've mentioned that your blog was my introduction to Borland and I've ordered this book.

I can't imagine the effort of hauling 40 pounds of bunny into the vet. Your pets are so fortunate to share your life.

Any good news about Buddy's ears?

Lynne said...

We're on the other side of the cold front here in Minnesota- it was 7 degrees when I woke today!! Brrr! I'll gladly trade the colder temps for the gray skies of November.

ruth said...

I have a "hard copy" Christmas scrapbook that I have kept up since my girls were babies. This post is so beautiful, I will print and "post" it in my book. I don't know if I will ever find a copy of Borland's book in Canada.

Susan Gets Native said...

That man is brilliant!
I am putting this book on my Wish List.
He gets it JUST right!

Deb said...

December has arrived here, cold and darkness and wood fires and all. Borland describes it well.

LauraHinNJ said...

Endment: I know, it doesn't seem possible. It's turning colder finally tonight after a thunderstorm came through. Imagine a thunderstorm in December!

Mary: I'd be happy with their snow!

Cathy: You'll like the book; sometimes it's hard for me to pick an entry to post at the beginning of the month.

I should really have two separate carriers for the bunnies - to evenly distribute their weight.

We're in sort of a holding pattern with Buddy's ear - I'm cleaning it twice a day and doing the meds on a regular schedule. The vet said I should try this for at least 2 weeks after the infection seems to have gone away - maybe it will work this time. Thanks for asking.

Lynne: That's cold! I've been opening windows the last few evenings to cool the house off when I get in from work. Not tonight though. Chilly out!

Ruth: Your scrapbook sounds like a great keepsake. You might find Borlands books used or online - most are out of print now. Maybe check the library?

Susan: Our weather and Borland are not in sync this month,, for sure!

Deb: I can imagine you really feel the cold where you are. I'll never forget that pic of you walking to your shower barefoot in the snow!

silverlight said...

How eloquent, such a serene, romantic description. I think I have a doll inspiration.

Sonia said...

Hi Laura,
Thank you so much for your visit and nice comment on my blog!
Sure, I understood your words in Portuguese! Thank you!
Have a good weekend!

Muito obrigada pela sua visita e gentil comentário no meu blog!
Claro, eu entendi suas palavras in Português. Obrigada!
Tenha um ótimo fim de semana!

Lynne said...

In case any one is interested, I got my copy of Sundial of the Seasons on ebay! But I did find several copies on Amazon and Alibris Books.

LauraHinNJ said...

Silverlight: Thank you - love your doll posts!

Sonia: That was Spanish! lol! Or are they that similar? They look similar to me, but sound VERY different!

Lynne: I think that's where I got my copy a few years ago. Thanks for the link.

Sonia said...

Hi Laura, that's is Portuguese, language of Brazil. Sure, it looks similar with Spanish, indeed.