The Required New Year’s Post

Photo: Hyacinth macaw in flight

It’s the end of the year. By now, you have read too many lists about the good and the bad, the bright and the dark, the old and the new. Perhaps, like me, you find the short dark days both to be too long and too dark.

Perhaps, like me, you relish having the kids happy to be at home with so much open space. They are the backdrop to all my activities right now. While I’m catching up on work invoices, I can hear them playing together. While I write a few more sentences on my next article, they prep Annie’s birthday party favors.

Perhaps, like me, you have read so many articles about the year turning over that you are not sure you have anything new to add to the conversation. After all, I have already written a blog post for work about greeting 2014 with a new intention.

Still, I sit here with my children playing with Lego’s next to me and I want to write more. I start most of these short, short days by writing a poem. As what little light there is today quickly fades from the sky, I want to add more late December thoughts to this blog.

I know my blog has never had a post go viral. But it’s still a space where I put my thoughts to share, where I add a bit more light to my world to push the Seattle greyness a bit further away. A friend recently bought a new house because her old home didn’t offer enough light. She told me, “As we age, we need more light. It’s a fact.”

So as I age, I need more words. People are sometimes astounded at the amount of time I spend with words, reading and writing and sharing them. In truth, one of my very first boyfriends told me he knew what my dream job was: “You want someone to pay you to type all day at that computer.”

Yes, yes, yes. I recently learned that the inside of every human body looks a little different. Maybe if a doctor sliced me open, what she would find would be words written on every part of my body. I came to write, to read, and to soak in the holiness that I find in words.

As I leave 2013 behind, I don’t want to leave you with a list. I don’t want to tell you the best or worst of the last year. As much as I want to share resources with you, it seems so much better just to pop a simple poem up here, to wish you, my reader, a 2014 filled with words that mean something to you. As much as I want to share one of my favorite poems here by another author, I think instead I’ll leave you with one of my poems. It seems a brave, end-of-the year thing to do. Lately I’ve taken to writing about birds. My girls received the most beautiful stuffed animals from one of their grandmas for Christmas, too: a blue-footed booby and a snowy owl. Without further ado, here’s my latest bird poem. With it, I wish you a Happy New Year:

Finally, the Bird Poem

 

I had no idea

white clover

was an apt part of everyday lawns

before the advent

of synthetic weed cover.

 

I have torn myself out

of surface conversations

tired of hiding my plumage.

 

I want to be

the brilliant blue hyacinth macaw

screeching, shrieking, crackling

communicating from the treetops

my graceful tail alighting on the branch

next to you

all day long.

 

And when sleep eludes me

let me be the ghostly white and tan

barn owl traveling buoyantly on outstretched wings

through the darkness

my raspy voice mimicking my lanky body.

 

I don’t yearn for the starkness

of the bare winter Japanese maple tree branches

let me take comfort in spring as

the front yard tree buds and blooms

let me lay on the porch

and dream of the freedom of flying

away from convention

where voices are strong, grating, real.

 

Where we meet

mating for life

no fear, so many quiet places

the tenderness all ours

the clover abundant

the silence all ours.

(copyright 2014 NSA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to The Required New Year’s Post

  1. Jenn December 27, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    Beautiful, Nancy! I love the poetry you write. I’m finding myself doing the same lately – wrapping myself in words, mostly those of authors I’m admiring lately. This afternoon while the kids napped, I curled up on the couch with Katrina Kenison’s Gift of an Ordinary Day. Wishing you a Happy New Year!!

    • Nancy Schatz Alton December 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

      Thanks Jennifer! The book you are reading is on my to-read list. I love her blog!

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