Thursday, January 19, 2017

Each Night A Luster

Kindle the taper like the steadfast star ablaze on evening's forehead o'er the earth, and add each night a luster till afar an eightfold splendor shine above thy hearth. ~ Emma Lazarus

So we're a little past the holiday season and as usual, I'm behind in posting my photos. I hope you'll bear with me as I share images from the the eight nights of Hanukkah. A few photos from a recent day trip to Mississauga will be sprinkled in with them.

Hanukkah first night 2016
On Hanukkah, the first dark night, light yourself a candle bright. I'll you, if you will me invite, to dance within that gentle light.
~ Nicholas Gordon
First Night: The menorah is all set to share the scene with a small Christmas tree in the background and a bottle of wine closer at hand.

Bare branches of each tree
on this chilly January morn
look so cold so forlorn.
Gray skies dip ever so low
left from yesterday's dusting of snow.
Yet in the heart of each tree
waiting for each who wait to see
new life as warm sun and breeze will blow,
like magic, unlock springs sap to flow,
buds, new leaves, then blooms will grow.
~ Nelda Hartmann
Beautiful Lake Wabukayne. My son, Alex and I took a tour around my old neighbourhood. This was the small lake in Mississauga where I spent countless hours photographing creatures of all kinds - just steps from my old door. We were in town for a family Hanukkah party and had a bit of time to kill. What better way than to take a walk around the paths of our past?

Hanukkah second night 2016
Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. ~Chinese Proverb
Second Night: Night number two landed on Christmas. Alex was with me and you can see that plates were piled high with turkey, potatoes and other goodies. Wine and gravy each wait their turn to be poured, and a wine goblet makes a nice home for my spiced orange flavoured cranberry sauce.

Wabukayne bird hours
I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show. ~ Andrew Wyeth
Here's a new addition to my old surroundings. Many of the trees around the lake have acquired bird houses. That should help encourage nesting for the winged lovelies.

Hanukkah third night2 2016
Put on your yarmulke, Here comes Hanukkah! So much funukah, To celebrate Hanukkah! ~ Adam Sandler
Third Night: Hanukkah humour to tickle the funny bone. Both cards came from neighbours.

Wabukayne my trees
The trees down the boulevard stand naked in thought,
Their abundant summery wordage silenced, caught
In the grim undertow; naked the trees confront
Implacable winter's long, cross-questioning brunt.
~ D. H. Lawrence
My beautiful trees, still standing sentry for those who walk the paths of Wabukayne. I have photographed this spot so many times - in every season.

Hanukkah fourth night 2016
The darkness of the whole world cannot swallow the glowing of a candle. ~ Robert Altinger
Fourth Night: Reminders of dragonflies in summer - and an owl that doesn't give a hoot which season we're in.

snowy bench
The Winter frowned
Its icy eyebrows
~ Florentin Smarandache
There are far better seasons to stop and sit.

Hanukkah fifth night2 2016
A candle is a small thing. But one candle can light another. And see how its own light increases, as a candle gives its flame to the other.
You are such a light. ~ Moshe Davis
Fifth Night: This fan belonged to my maternal Grandmother. It adorns a window ledge along with other keepsakes - a tiny set of brass goblets and decanter from my mother, tea candle holders and an old oil can from yard sales.

Wabukayne 2
In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long ago.
~ Christina Rossetti
I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to revisit my beautiful oasis, from time to time.

Hanukkah sixth night 2016-4
Now, near the Winter Solstice, it is good to light candles. All the nice meanings of bringing light to the world can be beautiful. But perhaps we are concentrating on lighting the world because we don't know how to light up our own lives. ~ Ralph Levy
Sixth Night: A different window ledge and a small collection of turquoise and blue.

I please myself with the graces of the winter scenery, and believe that we are as much touched by it as by the genial influences of summer.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Spindle berries were only beginning to fade around the edges. They keep their colour so beautifully through the earlier part of winter.

Hanukkah seventh night 2016 3
Most Texans think Hanukkah is some sort of duck call. ~ Richard Lewis
Seventh Night: Once again the tree makes its appearance in the background and a couple of birds enjoy the glow of the almost-full menorah.

milkweed pod
It is deep January. The sky is hard.
The stalks are firmly rooted in ice.
It is in this solitude, a syllable,
Out of these gawky flitterings,
Intones its single emptiness,
The savagest hollow of winter-sound.
~ Wallace Stevens
A solitary milkweed pod soaking up some of the winter afternoon sunlight.

Hanukkah eighth night 2016
Colourful candles burning bright, each lit on eight very special nights. ~ Unknown
Eighth Night: This is the first year that I can remember being home for all eight nights of Hanukkah. On this final evening, I am glad to be able to share the kindling of the candles with all of you. Thank you for joining me for this season of light - here on the blog and in Facebook.

More winter photos coming up before you can say "Jack Frost."

Thursday, January 12, 2017

I Am Grateful

I live in a loving, abundant, harmonious, universe and I am grateful.
~ Louise Hay

One day, between Christmas and New Year's Day, I decided to go out into the the freshly-fallen snow for a bit of a wander. The temperature was pleasant enough and I figured I would end up at one of my two usual destinations. I headed south for the river but while walking along the sidewalk, I happened to notice something which had somehow eluded me before. 

A lane. A simple lane which paralleled the streets on either side of it. A walking space between the fences of neighbourhood back yards. The fresh snow made it stand out to me and I decided to accept its unspoken invitation to walk it instead of my originally intended destination. An intense wave of nostalgia washed over me, bringing me back to my childhood in Montreal where so many of these back street lanes existed. We often walked much of our way home from school through one lane or another. I felt very grateful for this wistful memory, and now I know that I will have to explore Peterborough much more carefully from now on.

cutie daughter father snowman
As I exited the lane, I decided to zig instead of zag. This brought me another gift on this lovely winter's day. A father and child were busy putting finishing touches on their snowy masterpiece.

cutie with snowman2
The little girl was quick to advise me that she had done almost all of this creation herself. Dad stood back and allowed me to engage his sweet daughter in chitchat, and I learned all about the importance of having the right eyes, nose and apparel when planning to make a snowman.

sidewalk ends
I continued along the same street and came upon its apparent end - or so the sign said.

toward lock 19
The sidewalk may have ended but the walking path did not. I have been walking in this area for nearly a year and a half but I never opted to walk in this direction along this particular street before. This brought me to gift number three.

lock 19 Scotts Mills3
This lovely walking path along the river's edge was leading up to one of Peterborough's many locks - #19 in Scott's Mills.

lock 19 Scotts Mills2
The locks are only in use during the warmer months but it still made for an interesting outing and an unexpected treat just a few minutes from my place.

picnic on hold
Of course, picnics were also on hold for the winter. These tables were set up a little like dominoes.

near lock 19
On the way back, I stopped to admire a fallen tree dusted by the recent snow.

droplets and snow
The day was warming up a bit and snow was beginning to melt despite new flakes gently adding to the landscape.

cuties snowman2
Hopefully the snowman lasted a few more days.

I returned to the locks again a few days later, and I'll have some of those photos for you, among others, before too long.

Thank you, Universe for bestowing these three gift upon me on that day.

I am indeed grateful.