This week’s Fantastic Friday post comes in the form of a poem written in January of 2012 when the weather was cold, the morning dark, the moon brilliant and full. The perfect antidote to the winter blues both then and now.
Light Stronger Than Darkness
In winter, the extra hours of darkness
Weigh upon my shoulders,
Press upon my eyelids,
Make me groggy and slow and stupid.
Still last week, when the moon was full,
And the air was winter-warm,
I took my camera into the darkness
As the sun waited patiently to start her day
Until after the moon went to bed.
The darkness was too thick
And my hands too shaky
To capture the glory of the moon,
And finally I quit trying,
Trudging home with shoulders bent,
Eyelids drooping in a darkness
That lingered until yesterday
When I finally looked at the pictures.
Disappointments, all of them but one,
Where the bright moon waited
In the blue-black sky.
Not behind bare black branches
As it was in reality,
But in front of them,
Engulfing them in silver light.
Looking at the picture,
My shoulders straightened,
My eyes opened wide,
When I saw the truth.
Light is stronger than darkness,
Waiting patiently to be found by those who seek it.
The Man of Steel and I are home after a week in Phoenix visiting relatives. During this, our first winter vacation to warmer climes, we noticed these ten differences between Arizona and Iowa.
10. In Iowa, you’ll see trees similar to this one being propped up,
but you’ll only find these in Arizona.
9. Iowa hiking paths are strewn with wood chips or gravel. Arizona hiking paths are strewn with boulders poking every which way and then topped with large rocks so the boulders become even more hazardous.
8. The walkways to airplanes in Iowa sport large thermometers right outside the airplane so passengers know the walkway is a balmy 20 degrees and not below zero like the great outdoors. Passengers in Arizona walkways don’t want to know that walkways in Iowa are a balmy 20 degrees.
7. In Arizona, people sport flannel scarves for walks in 68 degree weather. In Iowa, people sport flip flops when the temperature is above freezing.
6. Iowans shiver while drinking morning coffee outside Starbucks. Arizonans shiver inside while sipping their AM java.
5. Arizonans carry yoga mats over their shoulders on morning walks. Iowans carry snow shovels.
4. Arizona grocery stores carry delicious avocados and terrible beef. Iowa grocery stores offer the exact opposite.
3. Arizonans put their dogs in purple and pink strollers for outdoor walks in the winter. Iowans put their dogs in black and gold, red and gold, or purple and gold sweaters.
2. Arizona has more urgent care pet clinics, pet spas, and upscale pet stores than pediatrician offices. Iowa has more urgent care clinics for little people than pet stores.
1. In Arizona dogs wear sunglasses. In Iowa, eye wear is limited to adults.
What makes your Arizona/Iowa top ten list? Leave a comment.
10. A white, unbroken blanket of snow is so lovely.
9. Life feels cozy when it’s snowing outside, the dishwasher and washing machine are running, and I’m sitting in a chair writing.
8. This year’s first big snowstorm didn’t hit until January, which means this winter won’t be as long as it could be.
7. A snowstorm means evening activities are cancelled, so there’s nothing to do but to download and watch the Downton Abbey Season 5 premiere.
6. After a month of Camp Dorothy, which just ended Sunday evening, it’s nice to have a guilt-free reason to stay home this Tuesday instead of going to visit Mom.
5. I can imagine trying to teach children, tired from Christmas break and excited about the snow, instead of teaching them.
4. This snowstorm affirms our decision to by an all-wheel drive Subaru in November instead of waiting until spring as originally planned.
3. This snowstorm granted the Man of Steel’s wish to test the Subaru on winter roads…and he was delighted with the way it handled.
2. Our daughter and son-in-law beat the storm and arrived at their home in Madison, Wisconsin safely.
1. On a day when our daughter-in-law was in labor, our daughter and her husband raced home ahead of the weather so they could pack and move, the sibs and I were going a little crazy attending to details related to Mom’s upcoming move, and the page proofs for Every Child Welcome arrived, a snowstorm seemed like a fitting metaphor for our family’s life. And when the storm ended, God used it to remind me that our stormy day would pass, too, replaced by beauty. In this case, the beauty of a brand new granddaughter, born just after midnight this morning.
10. Not paying an arm and a leg to fill the gas tank on the way to visit rellies over the holidays.
9. Fixing hearty, hot meals that include mashed potatoes and gravy because winter is about food like that.
8. Catching up with family and friends when their Christmas cards arrive.
7. Celebrating Eternal Optimist Day on December 21. Because for the next 6 months, the daylight hours keep increasing. Yes!
6. Stringing Christmas tree all over the house to make it feel like Eternal Optimist Day is arriving early.
5. Continuing our tradition of watching the Lord of the Ring movies throughout Christmas break.
4. Enjoying the heated seats in our new car on the chilly drive to Wisconsin this weekend.
3. Watching our grandson’s eyes light up when he opens the ukulele his Papoo made for him as a Christmas gift…one of the perks of having a papoo who makes guitars!
2. Going to Des Moines for supper and a movie with my sweetie…in our new car with heated seats.
1. Singing Silent Night at church during the Christmas Eve service at our church. A holy moment that moves me to tears each year.
10. It’s the closest thing to time travel most of us will ever get.
9. There’s more time to turn the lights down low for a romantic evening and not notice the need to dust the furniture.
8. When it’s dark by suppertime, jammies are perfectly acceptable dining attire.
7. Once everyone’s wearing jammies to the table, serving breakfast for supper is also perfectly acceptable.
6. So is going to bed early after meal clean up. Which is incredibly easy when cereal bowls and spoons are the only things that need washing.
5. School children who wear jammies to the table, eat breakfast for supper, and wake up early because they went to bed early the night before no longer have to wait for the bus in the dark on school days.
4. Writers and bloggers who wear jammies to the table, eat breakfast for supper, and wake up early because they went to bed early no longer have to take their morning walk in the dark either.
3. On evenings when people don’t hit the hay immediately after wearing jammies to the table and eating breakfast for supper, it’s too dark to do anything but binge watch the Modern Family Season 5 DVD, which you have on loan from the library for 1 short week after waiting months for your turn to check it out.
2. Fall back in the fall means an extra hour of sleep this weekend. Heavenly!
1. The end of Daylight Savings Time means only 4 short months until March 9 when it and spring make their glorious re-appearance.
What would you add to the list? Leave a comment!