Birds of a Feather

Christmas Benediction December 24, 2013

Filed under: Holiday — kcfeather @ 9:59 pm

Merry Christmas Eve from Isle of Palms (where we’re celebrating Christmas this year with my family). We cannot complain about the unseasonably warm temperatures (in the 70s our first two days here). We’re about to head into town for dinner at Magnolias followed by a candlelight service. Tomorrow we’re staying on the island. No gifts this year (too hard to travel with), but we have lots of fun games (Anomia and Tenzi are our new favorites), good books to read, a beach to take long walks on (especially if the sun sticks around), and all the ingredients for a delicious Christmas dinner.

Before I sign off for the rest of 2013, I thought I would share this benediction from our church’s Lessons & Carols service earlier this month:

May the joy of the angels,
the eagerness of the shepherds,
the perseverance of the wise men,
the obedience of Joseph and Mary,
and the peace of the Christ child
be yours this Christmas;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.


Poetry Corner: First Snow December 13, 2013

Filed under: Poetry,The everyday — kcfeather @ 2:41 am

This past Sunday morning, we were at the Lessons & Carols service at our church. Partway through the sermon, I turned slightly to the windows and saw: snow! It was early – all the forecasts said it was not supposed to arrive until much later that afternoon. The snow continued to fall throughout the service, and then started falling heavier as we headed out (it was falling fast enough that after stopping for thirty minutes for lunch – pho – we nearly had to dig the car out before slowly driving back home). The snow in the city is not the same as the snow that Mary Oliver describes, but the first snow is the first snow, wherever you are – and the calm and (relative) silence are special.


Our window box, early afternoon

First Snow
Mary Oliver

The snow
began here
this morning and all day
continued, its white
rhetoric everywhere
calling us back to why, how,
whence such beauty and what
the meaning; such
an oracular fever! flowing
past windows, an energy it seemed
would never ebb, never settle
less than lovely! and only now,
deep into night,
it has finally ended.
The silence
is immense,
and the heavens still hold
a million candles; nowhere
the familiar things:
stars, the moon,
the darkness we expect
and nightly turn from. Trees
glitter like castles
of ribbons, the broad fields
smolder with light, a passing
creekbed lies
heaped with shining hills;
and though the questions
that have assailed us all day
remain – not a single
answer has been found –
walking out now
into the silence and the light
under the trees,
and through the fields,
feels like one.

Near the river, at 5 pm

Near the river, at 5 pm