Babes In Toyland

Winter Landscape, Valley of the Catskills by Charles Herbert Moore (1840-1930)

“…… Magical, merry JOYLAND…
once you pass its portals, you may never return again.”

The sounds of that music echo from my childhood.
New York’s November & December programs on stage
were standard fare in our home. My sister and I put on our white gloves,
carried our little purses, and boarded the train to Grand Central
for the magic of illusion, accompanied by the adults.

Dears, that was many moons ago, yet is this not the season
for the very young?

Who could have said it better than this:

“My heart of silk
is filled with lights
with lost bells,
with lilies and bees.
I will go very far,
farther than these mountains,
farther than the oceans,
way up near the stars,
to ask Christ the Lord
to give back to me
the soul I had as a child,
matured by fairy tales,
with its hat of feathers
and its wooden sword.”


Hearing those words, who could not reclaim that
simplicity of childhood, matured, indeed, as it has through
the years and tears and tears to the fabric of belief.

Yes, Tinker Belle, I believe!

always with love,


Sometimes I have to remember that what’s ahead,
directly as on a calendar, does not have to be my
primary concern, as in walking forward into the
holidays coming up.

I do find myself singing some old Christmas songs
that merrily play away on radio and mall domain.
Yet today, I’m minded to remember the summer.

Take a deep breath, and step out with me:

“Walked out this morning
into a broad green garden
with the rising sun in my eyes
and the first hint of the day’s heat
touching my face,
feeling as broad as the garden
and young as the day
and soaking up the heat
in my black tee-shirt,
walked straight forward
out of the gate,
through the wood,
along the river,
toward the mountain
and thought of the future
I could make in the world
if I walked toward it
like this,
with my face toward the hills
and my eyes full of light
and the earth sure
and solid beneath me,
walking on
with a fierce anticipation
and a faithful expectation,
with the sun and the rain
and the wind on my skin
and the old sense
I remember at twenty
of many paths
breaking from one path.

As if the body could walk
as if we all could walk
and keep on walking
from one path to another,
noting and loving again
the wonders
of the turning world….
that’s what we’ll do,
practicing as we go.”

…………….DAVID WHYTE, from his book of poems,
River Flow, 1984-2007

That mention of the ‘black tee-shirt’ is what
caught me, since I do have a favorite short-sleeved
tee that I feel so at home in. It’s sitting on my
summer shelf.
Any day, any time.
My choice, practicing with a warm sweater over it.

with love …


My memories of Christmas were so deeply formed in my childhood
that I went searching for an echo that would ring true other than
Babes In Toyland.
I had to go very far back, not only in time but in season:


” Summer brought fireflies in swarms,
They lit our evenings like dreams
we thought we couldn’t have.
We caught them in jars, punched
holes, carried them around for days.

Luminous abdomens that when charged
with air turned bright. Imagine!
mere insects carrying such cargo,
magical caravans flickering beneath
low July skies. We chased them, amazed.

The idea! Those tiny bodies
pulsing phosphorescence.
They made reckless traffic,
signaling, neon flashes forever
into the deepening dusk.

They gave us new faith
in the nasty tonics of childhood,
pungent, murky liquids promising
shining eyes, strong teeth, glowing skin,
and we silently vowed to swallow ever after.
What was the secret of light?
We wanted their brilliance:
small fires hovering,
each tiny explosion
the birth of a new world.”


These few days leading to tonight, Christmas Eve,
have been valleys and peaks! A few moments of
uncertainty and anxiety could have marred the anticipation
of family and fun and childhood re-visited.
Maybe through the grace so abundant at this time of open
hearts, maybe just trusting, I was able to reach out and
ask for help, blind for the moment.

Help came, like the summer fireflies, in tiny explosions,
in light, allowing rebirth of my own capacity to be present
to life. That’s really how it seemed!

All homage to this season of light.

with love …