Yule 2015

sycamore seed ball
Platanus occidentalis (Sycamore) seed ball

Why bother with electric Christmas lights when the trees are already bright with colour. Across the street I can see sumac, oak, crepe myrtle and poplar. Each tree is spiced with gold and red and every colour in between.

In exchange, we give our neighbours holly trees laden with red berries and a wild mulberry. It was a flashy neon green last week but today is the clearest yellow. Thanks to the rain the wet bark looks like cinnamon. Humble and magnificent.

This is supposed to be a time of hope. A time when our ancestors feared the longest night of the year. That sounds so wrong to me. Hope is for suckers.  Let us be steadfast, resolute or determined instead.

All around me I see the signs that life is more determined than hopeful about survival. Tiny wild carrot and bedstraw seedlings blanket the soil protecting it from winter rain. Here and there Englemann’s Daisy and Texas bluebonnets already display lush rosettes of green. When the time is right they will explode with colour. Outlier pink evening primroses are already in bloom. “Come bees. Remember spring with us.”

The tradition is to see winter as death. I think the land has a completely different point of view.

anole dec 4
Anolis carolinensis, moulting

This anole must have some powerful telepathy because somehow I noticed her even though she was absolutely torpid from the cool morning air. Maybe I subconsciously spotted that amazing eyeshadow. The leaf she was using for camouflage nearly meant her end because when I pass by evergreens I have a habit of shaking off fallen pecan leaves that get caught in the branches. As if moulting in the cold wasn’t uncomfortable enough … being launched into the wide blue yonder would have hurt a whole lot more.

She remained in that spot for hours. Steadfast.

The news from the Paris is that our leaders have failed us and the planet. All talk; no action. Father Christmas won’t be coming this year so we must look to older icons. Demeter relentlessly searching the earth for her missing daughter; Mary fearlessly cradling her infant in the straw. See hope there if you like. I see fierce women doing what needs to be done. Steadfast. Resolute. Determined.

mistletoe 2 dec 2015
Mistletoe, evergreen. I spotted a few new berries but most of the branches are only starting to flower.
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26 thoughts on “Yule 2015

  1. Powerful thoughts and images…..and my garden is determined to keep growing despite the crazy weather…even the frogs are not hibernating.

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  2. Poor little anole…time to hibernate! Your words and connections always touch my soul! Tis a very intense time here on precious Mother earth. To fierce women and hope!

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  3. What a delightful prospect – primrose blossoms in December! I enjoy their reddened foliage in winter but don’t recall seeing flowers this late before. A sign of some change underway? I wonder.

    Beautiful images, strong words, challenging in the most appropriate ways. It will take all of us coming at these problems from every angle to make a positive difference in time (if that is indeed still possible…).

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    1. Thanks, Deb. Wouldn’t it be nice if the ones in your container bloomed? The dianthus would make a pretty nice companion. The weather has been glorious. A little rain, a little sun. All warm. sigh.

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      1. If the primroses in my containers did bloom I’m afraid I’d be insufferably smug about it, acting as though I knew all along they’d flower if only I…(fill in some magic blank).

        I’m pretty sure the first primroses in containers here were escapees from the beds rather than intentionally planted. I did decide to leave them in place however but past that I’ll claim no credit. (unless they bloom and then watch out!)

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  4. Attempting to maintain a positive frame of mind, I can certainly agree with keeping a resolute and determined course of action–at least in my own life and choices.

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  5. I love your beautiful anole.
    Myths about the sun god being reborn each year on 25 th December have always comforted mankind. Think of Osiris, Isis, Mithra, Tammuz, Adonis, Attis, Dionysus and Jesus. The dying and rising God is a persistent feature of near Eastern mythologies. I think we need more than myths to comfort us now, as religious bigotry unleashes such cruelty and violence on the world.

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    1. It is disheartening to see how intolerant people are becoming. I can only hope they are just the loud ones and that most people remain sane.

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  6. I’ve been enjoying a nice break in my routine, spending some lovely minutes here at your blog, Debra. Worried, though, about your bad news you allude to from the Paris talks, and I send you this headline – “Glimmers of a Climate Deal Emerge in Paris” (online at Scientific American) – as an antidote. These glimmers of a deal are far from perfect, I understand. But better than anything that has emerged from prior climate talks, I believe.

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    1. Thanks for visiting! I do see many reports praising cop21 for finding agreement. We are at the end game and not the starting point though so a much more rigorous, binding and detailed contract was needed. The bright spot is that ordinary people are taking up the slack by coming together in large numbers to make sure good decisions are being made despite government inaction. The organizing outside the conference looks like the best chance we’ve got.

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      1. Probably so. I’m not feeling comfortable about any of what’s happening to our planet-home, for sure. But just want so badly to have something to be hopeful about – and was really cheered by the headlines – perhaps too easily cheered. But I do believe this: all successful actions begin with respectful talking. While it’s no silver bullet, I do think we – an important mass of humanity – have now turned a corner; and that our determination to change directions is real, and that COP21 is the recognition of this. Sure, there’s still much difficulty ahead, to be faced. Thank you Debra, for sharing your thoughts with me, too.

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