goodnight, you moonlight ladies

big round

Now, the first of December was covered with snow

When I woke very early, there was still snow on the grass out the bathroom window, still a skimming on the piles of cedar rounds felled last week. Was there a moon? I didn’t see one through the billowing clouds against the mountain. In my warm bed I thought about the stars somewhere above my house, the coyotes in their den, the owls sweeping across the white bluffs. Last week a weasel came into the house, maybe via the cat’s little entrance in a window in the utility room, and instead of the clean tawny of a summer coat, it was turning white. This will be our winter.

The hummingbirds have found the feeder I hung for them two weeks ago. Normally I don’t put out feeders for them because all summer we have flowers and the Rufous, the Anna’s, feed in the fuchsias, the long throats of trumpet flowers, honeysuckle. We often went away in January or February and I didn’t want to encourage the Anna’s, who stay around all year, to rely on a feeder that might be empty for a month or so, maybe in the coldest part of the year. By late February, there are snowdrops and crocus, and the big mahonia and its clotted yellow blooms is a favourite of the hummingbirds. But now there are more Anna’s around and we’re here too so the feeder hangs in our dining area window. Yesterday, when I put warm sugar water out, one of them came immediately to feed, and then sat on the feeder to rest.

There’s a song that they sing when they take to the highwayA song that they sing when they take to the seaSong that they sing of their home in the sky

After our swim this morning, I walked around outside for a few minutes, smelling the incense of fresh-cut cedar rounds in snow. Not much snow but enough to make my feet cold. (Confession: I was wearing flip-flops.)

skimmed with snow

Coming in, I sat for a few minutes by the fire to warm up. Two quilts to finish, black beans to cook for dinner, the ongoing thinking and writing of what I thought was an essay but now see spiralling into a book-length meditation on desire, agency, and difficult legacy, and other tasks that fill a day (and sometimes hours in the night too). The rounds of cedar will need to be split in place and brought to the woodshed in our old red wheelbarrow. There are winter wrens in the stacked fir, Steller’s jays in the trees near the windows.

Goodnight, you moonlight ladiesRockabye, sweet baby JamesDeep greens and blues are the colors I chooseWon’t you let me go down in my dreams?

edge of the woods

Tonight I’ll look for the moon. First Quarter, Waxing Crescent, best seen in the western sky. Listen. You can hear the snow crunching underfoot, the crackle of the logs in the woodstove, the beautiful cello accompaniment to a song that was part of my teen years. Goodnight, you moonlight ladies. And everyone else too.

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