It snowed this weekend and the world became just a bit more enchanted. Layers of water and ice glistened over the street. Ribbons of snowflakes tumbled and bedecked the boughs beyond my window. Lights twinkled, evermore bright, as darkness dropped a veil atop the blanket of white. A hush settled upon the land. The world was beautiful to behold.
I’ve learned to look closely, to appreciate the layers of a life.
Everything layers. The snow that buries treasure. The cut pine boughs that house an errant spider. The branch of Winterberries that feed the birds. The words we write; the silences we keep.
My eyes scan the room to view a mother’s treasured sideboard. Once it stood stained and polished, waiting for Sunday. On that sacred day, she’d set out the silver and china serving dishes. Her best effort. And we would celebrate family.
A patina of paint and wax covers the oak sideboard. The top sanded, the edges worn. The silver stands in a cast iron urn, a twist on up cycling. The china serving bowls rarely make an appearance. I see the candle burning down. A daughter’s attempt to hold on, let go, to illuminate the night.
My fingers lift a gilded frame. The sepia photograph is of a woman. I trace her portrait. She is standing on a deck, leaning against a railing, looking out to sea. Dressed in her finest clothing, her fingertips hold a hat. A lady always wears a hat. She was a believer in proper etiquette. Beyond her rolls the Atlantic.
I recall her eyes, shades of indigo grey. Behind their depth is another layer. Doubt. I imagine her pausing, pondering, “Should I leave England?” I dust off worry and discover bravery. Carefully, I lift another layer to expose joy ~ he is waiting for her to cross an ocean. On another continent, he goes about his life, planning, constructing, beholden to a dream.
A certain magic fills the room. A whispered breeze kisses my forehead. I see my Grandmother; she is still beautiful. Time has gently taken its toll. Her once bright eyes have paled. They glimmer, wet pools of faded blue. Her finest dress, threadbare. A pin of pearls is elegantly placed beneath the collar of her blouse. Beside her armchair a weathered curtain hangs, the faded Irish lace rustles.
Everything is layered, weathered, chipped, cracked and broken. Be still. Pay attention to the forgotten. It is within glorious imperfection that we find beauty. Lift the layers gently, see beyond the cracks. Everything and everyone has a story to tell. The magic of the world works in whispers. You only need a heart that feels to see the wonder that surrounds us.
in a softened moment
under a veil of grey
tipping my world
each flake, a scattered memory
a reach across time
you, always choosing december
to withdraw and return, to withhold and offer up
the spoils and riches of a life
yet within this silent moment
envisioning you near
choosing to believe
in everlasting love
my footsteps circle, pause
eyes cast toward the heavens
palms lifted to receive
between worlds we stand
to never-ending love
Lyrical words for a rainy morning.
Alone, in the darkness, her silent tears slip; only the stars listen.
Far, far away, on the other side of time, someone catches and collects her tears. He tucks the vial to his heart and waits till the moon rises, ripe in an inky sky. Standing atop a grassy knoll, he uncorks the tears and tosses them heavenward. Momentarily, the sky flickers with light. Shimmering, the released tears scatter to earth as rain.
Fury and force heaved and shattered all that dared defy their presence. With exhaled breath, they battered the stalwart evergreens. Tree- tops spun. Boughs snapped and fell.
I knew it was a matter of time.
In the distance, a low rumble shot like a freight train through the land. The faint thundering of hooves grew louder. Beside me, a squirrel scurried for shelter. Overhead, a raven screamed a spell.
A veil hung, ominous and sheer, separating earth from the heavens. Deafening silence overtook the land. The faintest sound was the pumping of my heart. Even still, I was not afraid.
Leaves spun, suspended in air. Shades of red through orange, shapes of maple and oak teased my outstretched hand. Pinecones scattered and rolled across the mossy carpet beneath my feet.
From a clearing he appeared, lit beneath the hunter’s moon. I watched ringed fingers grip and tug the reins. The stallion reared, muscles taut, its coat damp and shiny, head twitching side to side.
On the charge’s back sat the royal one. A body clothed in leather, eyes the sparks of flint, a rugged face devoid of emotion.
It was then I glimpsed his truth. I saw one hand lift, watched as his fingers stroked the mane. The steed lowered its head and stood like stone.
The Storm King lifted from the saddle. Dark, dangerous, beautiful and mysterious he kneeled before me and bowed.
Spin. Surrounded by a multitude of angel’s wings. Each feathered beat, a gentle two-step. Hugged by the softest touch. A dance between beauty and mystery, ….
Years ago I discovered this door at an auction. The auction site was far from the city and “Junking” wasn’t the swishy chic business that it is today. I can not explain the allure to vintage. It is a portal to the past. Perhaps “old”appears truer, faithful, stronger. Or do certain pieces conjure an emotional response? Mirrored moments of love lost, coveted memories, and poignant sorrow from regret. That which we toss or lose, from people to things.
All of the above musings ring true. I also appreciate the dedication to craft, whether it be writing, painting, music or woodworking. The rewrites, brushstrokes, the sound bites, the turn of a leg or the dove tailed edges of a drawer, all suggest old world quality and showcase the artisan’s passion. Maybe it’s the passion piece that grabs, an ageless love that forever shines.
Yet what is it about a door? Throw open the door to reunion. Boot through the door in the heat of crime. Lock the door. Unlock it. Shut the door.
There is an old soul that lives in me. She flows through my eyes to show the house where the door once stood. “Open the door,” she whispers and my hand reaches forth to push upon the cracked ceramic plate. We stand in the kitchen, voyeurs of a life. She gestures to the heart of the room. A wooden table graces the centre. Flour is scattered on top, a rolling-pin waits. We’ve come home.
I recall that day in the valley. The auction house was empty of people. Cast off pieces from lives lived dumped along hallways and atop sideboards. Did anyone care? The door leaned against a wall. Solid oak, it waited. Tall amidst a short pile of old metal watering cans, wooden handled rakes and a box of battered licence plates, it stood out-of-place. There was something bespoke about its simple yet majestic presence. Was it the art deco glass that elevated the door from humble to proud?
I paused, fell in love, tossed in a bid and left with a door.
Sadly, I left the door in an aging shed. For thirty years it lay on a wooden floor. Forgotten, it languished in darkness, gathering dust. Spider egg sacs clung to the edges and nestled in the crooks and crannies. Moisture weathered the finish. It waited for someone to remember.
Until yesterday. Yesterday I wrestled it into the light. Gently, I cleaned and polished the glass, dusted off the egg sacs and sanded the oak.
Magic flowed and imagination sparked. We entered into a dance of sorts. My hands held the sandpaper block as fingers pressed and moved in step with the oak grain. I stepped away and judged. Far too lovely to lay dismissed in a shed.
An architectural piece, it will serve as a symbol of hope, “One door closes, another opens.” Its quiet presence states, grace others that stand on the threshold.
What is this door’s story?
I envision a rambling estate in the English countryside. Laughter rings from the cutting garden. Wee children flit as fairies do amongst the hollyhocks and sunflowers. A man walks the long gravel path to the once well appointed home. He lifts his hat and knocks upon the door. It opens…