Remembering the Light

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Monday Morning Musings:

 

“I have forgotten that dark Berlin winter.

I will not forget the light of the horses.”

–from Pablo Neruda, “Horses.” 

 

Winter has its own beauty–

bright holiday baubles and candle light

glowing flickers within window frames

stars twinkling in December night,

their glow a memory from the past

 

and we remember, too, the past

celebrations in other places with people now gone

but stop we say, we are here, and now

with family and friends gathered together

we cook, we open gifts, we light the candles

 

first night

second night

each night one added

until finally, eight candles burn

and if there is no miracle, at least there is light

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My mother does not remember–

how many candles? Ten? she asks.

But she sings along in Yiddish with the rabbi,

songs from her childhood

songs of another world, now gone.

 

We walk in twilight through city streets

winter here, a different kind of beauty

of lines, reflections, and angles

people on holiday time without the frenzy–

the train at rush hour, not so crowded.

Philadelphia December Cityscape, Merril D. Smith, 2019

Philadelphia, Lines, Angles, and Reflections

 

Winter has its own allure–

dramatic grey clouds and stark, elegant branches.

We drink mulled wine and eat Christmas cookies,

we watch a show of space exploration and new worlds–

love and war the constants of human experience.

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Reflections at Red Bank Battlefield, December 2019.

 

Winter holds its secrets tight–

rising behind the clouds, the sun blazes and the moon shimmers,

beneath the snow, green sprouts watch and wait

beyond the darkness, comes the prancing light of horses,

carrying yesterday into tomorrow, and I remember

 

the light.

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Older daughter made this ornament for me.

 

Last night we watched a movie on Amazon Prime called Remembrance (original title: Die verlorene Zeit or The Lost Time) 2011. It’s loosely based on a true story of a couple who meet and fall in love in Auschwitz. He’s a Polish Christian, and she’s a German Jew. He smuggles photographs out of the camp, and he helps her escape. The movie toggles back and forth between her remembering the 1940s and the present (set in the 1970s.)  It seemed a fitting movie for the last night of Hanukkah–and I suppose their escape was a bit of miracle, too.

We’re also nearing the end of The Expanse.