winter prayers

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This afternoon, I walked by someone's garden and saw these flowers. "They're so pretty." I said. The lady turned around and asked, "Do you want them?"

Before I could tell her yes, she was already cutting a few blooms with her garden shears. "Be careful, they have thorns," she warned. I said thank you, we chatted for a bit, and I walked back, flowers in hand, and a spring in my steps.

Later, while I was driving back to the city, I could smell the sweet fragrance of the flowers next to me. I thought about Emily Dickinson, her life, and her "envelope poems" I saw at the bookstore. These poems, written on flattened envelope scraps, were reproduced in full-scale facsimile and compiled in a stunning hardcover called The Gorgeous Nothings.  I opened the book to a random page and fell in love with these lines:

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"In this short Life
that only/merely lasts an hour
How much - how
little - is
within our
power."

December, my birthday month, is often bittersweet for me. There is so much beauty that keeps me grounded here, even if the days are too cold, and I start to miss my loved ones, or long for places I've never been. There are gorgeous sunsets. Kind strangers who give you flowers. Hot apple cider and cookies, while folding paper cranes. The gift of poetry, and stories you can always come back, to keep you warm.

Have a listen to this beautiful song, by Iron and Wine.

Poem from The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems.

3 comments:

  1. I love that poem, and the story of the woman who cut you some of her flowers.
    Happy birthday to you. xx

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  2. I had never heard of Emily Dickinson's envelope writings, the book must be great! And yes, you have no option but to be amazed with strangers giving you flowers. The world is really a beautiful place.

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  3. Happy birthday to you, dear Odessa. xx

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