Happy New Year’s Eve 2013!

Ascending with Serenity by Michael Maier

Bow and String
By Annette Marie Hyder

She gave of herself in celebrating the new year and the old, a wing to bow her instrument and her voice made up the strings. She kept her heart for she knew in the year ahead she’d need it for many a thing. She danced to the music of the dying year, a song surprisingly filled with joy. It sparkled and crashed like the waves of eternity’s sea as she watched the sun rise on the brink of change and 2014’s dawn.

May your New Year’s Eve be equal parts celebration and reflection!

Links to New Year’s Eves and Days past:
The New Year Tree (a Branch of Yggdrasil)
Wishing you a…
New Year’s Day 2011
New Year’s Day
New Year’s Eve is extended

Sunday Things: Firelight

By Annette Marie Hyder

(very late Sunday night/early Monday morning)

Your scent stays with me
like woodsmoke on this cold night

reminding me of fire
and the way that I caution myself
as I inch closer and closer to you
that fire is beautiful
but it also burns.

Long after I am in bed
under the covers

and surrounded by pillows
my dreaming self reaches out
drawn to the warmth of your flame.
I wake with roses trellising my cheeks
like a crop of kisses.
I warm my cold fingers

and cool my hot cheeks
one with the other
while firelight dances
with thoughts of you
in the room behind my closed eyes.

“Just think of spring.”

Image, Paris Snow, courtesy tealcheesecake.tumblr

I’m hearing a lot of friends encouraging one another with something along the lines of  ”Just wait, spring is just around the corner, just hold on to that thought, only 83 more days till spring!”*

But winter has only just begun! And while I am sure and know from experience that I will be longing for spring (especially here in Minnesota where spring comes late) by the end of winter, I think there is something to be said for enjoying the beauty of this season that we are in here and now.

Not only is there beauty in the bones of the landscape and the way that time — measured in the leaps and bounds of green growing things — is arrested, but there is something special about the bones of perseverance that can be seen in people as they shovel snow, as they make a way, as they go about their lives with a seasonal handicap that they will themselves to overcome. There is something to be appreciated in the lull, the interlude that allows a type of reflection that is more contemplative than that of the other three seasons. And winter truly allows us to rediscover the knowledge that is within us and maybe overlooked in easier times that the things that die, flowers, warmth, light, not only die but live again.

*There are even countdown apps and websites to let you know down to the hour how much closer you are to spring: mycountown.org

This was me earlier

Poster by Gil Elvgren

Ha-ha! Just kidding! I had to go out into the bitterly cold weather and I had a full 2-piece ski jacket on over my sweater and jeans, thick socks and warm boots AND a humongous neon yellow jacket (given to me by a friend I used to work with) over the top of the ski jacket. Ski cap, scarf, and gloves completed this un-Elvgren ensemble. But I was warm and I did not care what anyone thought. So where did I have to go in the (below freezing) cold snow?

I’m glad you asked. I’ve been having a tight time financially and I am not one to complain and in fact have not blogged about it previously. However, I am mentioning it now because it is pertinent to my many-layered foray into the cruel elements and to my destination.

Pinching pennies did not leave my fingers free to purchase anything to go beneath our tree this holiday season (or in our stockings). But we, my daughter and I, were not crushed by this because we know it’s not material things that matter anyway and we can make things for each other. And there are others who are having a harder time than we are. We have plenty to eat, a roof over our heads, warmth in our home, and transportation that does not involve the words ‘public’ (not that there’s anythng wrong with public transportation but I am mighty glad not to be waiting for a bus in this weather!) or ‘snow-bike’.*

Back to me and my multi-layered and purposeful stride out into the snow on the day before Christmas. Last Friday I called in to the myTalk 107.1 radio station hoping to be the 7th caller for a $100 gift card to the Rosedale Mall.


So that is why I had to roll (yes, I have to admit it was more of rolly-polly gait than a purposeful stride) out into the biting cold. I had to get to the radio station before 4:00 pm to get the card to have it in time to GO TO THE MOVIES with Jazzy on Christmas day. Yes. I can use that card to buy tickets to the movies, go out to dinner, anything really that you can want or do at the mall for under $100. How cool is that? I’m thinking Frozen (nudge-nudge, wink-wink) will be the movie of choice.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!

*You probably don’t know this if you haven’t lived in Minnesota but Minnesotans actually — I am not making this up — ride their bicycles in the snow and ice and sleet. It is a point of insane pride on their part.

A Rudolph kind of Tuesday

Image courtesy of CBS.com

Happy Holidays!

I loved this movie so hard when I was little!

I had just turned four when my dad died and from that time forward all of the Christmas pageantry and celebration was tied up and taken out as trash both physically and metaphorically. My mom returned to being a Jehovah’s Witness and raised her four children in the faith of her youth.

So, I was never sure if we would get to watch the annual Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV show special. This was because my mom had a hard time making up her mind if the Rudolph special was really Satan the Devil tailored for baby steps in the direction of large strides towards wickedness and worldliness. Some years my mom’s conscience bothered her and she didn’t want celebrations of a holiday with pagan roots in our house in any way, shape, or form (even if said celebrations involved animation of the especially cute and delightful kind and maybe even more so then because — you know, Satan and ‘transforming himself into an angel of light’ and how of course he would use the best-funnest things to appeal to we true believers to lead us astray).

But some years she really couldn’t see anything wrong with it. I guess the uncertainty of the pleasure made it all the more beguiling to me. But in addition to the forbidden nature of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (it makes me laugh just typing ‘forbidden nature of Rudolph the Red-Nosed-Reindeer’) I LOVED the animation, the songs, the adorableness and most of all — the story: misfits finding their way and their place in the world, broken dolls being loved despite their disfigurements, the unlovable monster finding a friend. And underlying it all the message that so many times we mistake the very thing that makes us unique as something to be ashamed of when in fact it should be celebrated.

I guess you can tell I love this children’s movie. Yes. I do. And I will be watching it tonight with Jazz — probably feeling a little bit on the naughty side (because, conditioning!) but loving it nonetheless as we munch on cookies and sip on hot cocoa with whipped cream on top and sprinkles too and wishing you all the best and merriest of holidays!

Behind the Scenes

By Annette Marie Hyder

Sometimes I think of the shortest day of the year not with mystic solemnity but with a head tilt and smile seeing her as a short sassy harbinger of the temperamental star, Turning Point; a stage manager of sorts. She’s all business with a professional confidence about her that she can get the job done — get that prima donna, Turning Point, to quit primping backstage and just come out already. Sassy Winter Solstice has one last thing to say before she ushers Turning Point onto the stage to perform her big hit, Longer Light. “Don’t even think of lip-synching!”

Happy Winter Solstice 2013!

For the past few nights

By Annette Marie Hyder

such a distinctly beautiful moon
has been unfolding into fullness
like a singular white winter bloom
(its head heavier with the perfume of night
with every passing day).

What hand picked it and placed it
in its dark cut-crystal vase?