Saturday, December 17, 2005

Winter Night, Sixty Years Ago

My grandmother leans against the back porch pillar, clutching her wool coat tightly round her and watching the moon cast its almost full light across the snow-laden field. Orion has settled against the winter black, belt twinkling and sword resting quietly at his side.

The feet, well padded with fur, make no sound as the rabbit emerges hopefully from the woods, eyeing the glacial surface before her for the slightest hint of rodent liveliness below.

The soft soft soft wingtips make no sound as they glide across the surface of the snow, the talons sink unerringly into fluff and flesh, and the newly weighted owl flaps silently over the buried cornstalks.

She settles on the branch below the old hawk nest destined for her chicks. Her mate hoots through the woods, his ardour rising. She fluffs her undercoat of down and dines restlessly. The long nights on eggs and beneath snowfall will come soon enough.


This came to me during my dog's final evening tour of the back yard tonight, as I stood on the back porch looking at the moon and Orion in the winter sky and hissing "Hurry up; it's freezing out here!" My grandmother is nearing 100 this winter, nearly blind and deaf, fretting away her final days with only her thoughts to occupy her. I hope she remembers nights like this, when nature's power held sway right off her own back porch.


Lisa :-] said... I'm starting to get it. I have been looking (too much) at my comment numbers too. And it seems like no comment equals no readers.

Here's my new theory: The good entries, the really good entries, stand so well on their own, that people are not inspired to comment. It's difficult, as the not-too-sure-of-herself writer, hopeful for feedback, to know how to interpret "no comment." We want to know that people have read, and the only way, in this arena, is for people to comment.

I read this entry, Robn. And I loved it. But I didn't have anything to add. I just sat and absorbed it. Maybe we all need to get into the habit of comenting whether we have anything real to say or not, just to let each other know we were here...

Judith HeartSong said...

This is a beautiful post Robin...... and I am so darn far behind in everything that I have not had as much chance to read journals as I would like.

I have a short list of must-reads, and I hope (very dearly hope) that you know you are on that short list.

You are one of the people I know who REALLY knows how to put the words together and make them flow.

I felt like I was right there on the porch too.
warm hugs,

Virginia said...


I have to agree with Lisa, except maybe to add that when I read something very profound or important or painfully personal, I usually have to sit with it for a while. Also, not being the most articulate of communicators, I can actually get intimidated to leave a comment, composed of my words, attached to something profound. I had read this earlier and knew this was one of those entries I needed to sit with before I could even know if I had anything worth contributing....



ChasingMoksha said...

I'm here, and I read.

I do like rabbits, owls, and hope I am living and happy when I am 100.

alphawoman said...


I read your entry yesterday and was deeply moved. My father is 86 years old and still living at home, a shell of the man he use to be. Robbed of memories by a series of strokes and dementia, robbed of a meaning existence by prostate cancer and a heart condition. Not only am I ripped apart emotionally watching my dad disappear, I am heart breaks for my Mom watching her mate of over 50 years hang on to life only because of her. So, your entry hit so close to the bone that I was unable to comment yesterday.

Cynthia said...

This is simply beautiful, and I think that Lisa has expressed my feelings about my earlier lack of comment perfectly.

Celeste said...

I remember as my mother reached the end of her days, we would talk of some of her memories. She only memtioned the ones that brought a smile to her face. In her pain, it was nice seeing the smile.