First Snow: Memories

Here’s my response to the Ragtag prompt for today: ZIP

FIRST SNOW

First snow flakes – angel-feather
innocence falling from heaven –
soften me in their gentleness,
the sincerity of their efforts to erase
the blemishes of my imperfect world.

My mind drifts back to childhood
memories of those first infatuations
with cold and white; those winters I’d fall
knee-deep in the wonder
of loving it all. How joyfully
I lifted my hands to catch
the dazzle of diamond dust.

The old torch glows again today,
that first-kiss affection for a childhood
sweetheart never quite abandoned,
as I watch the flakes drift down.
On impulse I zip up my winter coat,
don mitts and boots and go
out to play in the snow.

The Broken Drum

Drum

THE BROKEN DRUM

by Edgar Guest

There is sorrow in the household;
there’s a grief too hard to bear;
there’s a little cheek that’s tear-stained
there’s a sobbing baby there.
And try how we will to comfort,
still the tiny teardrops come;
for – to solve a vexing problem–
Curly Locks has wrecked his drum.

It had puzzled him and worried,
how the drum created sound;
for he couldn’t understand it.
It was not enough to pound
with his tiny hands and drumsticks
and at last the day has come
when another hope is shattered,
now in ruins lies his drum.

With his metal bank he broke it,
tore the tightened skin aside,
gazed on vacant space bewildered,
then he broke right down and cried.
For the broken bubble shocked him
and the baby tears must come;
now a joy has gone forever;
Curly Locks has wrecked his drum.

While his mother tries to soothe him
I am sitting here alone.
In the life that lies behind me
many shocks like that I’ve known.
And the boy who’s upstairs weeping
in the years that are to come
will learn that many pleasures
are as empty as his drum.

From the book Just Folks,
by Edgar A. Guest
© 1917 by The Reilly & Britton Co.

My response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt: CHALLENGE

I really enjoy prompt words like this; they can call up such a variety of responses!

This Grandma’s Old

Today I did some cleaning up in the spare bedroom, which doubles as my sewing room — and tonight I’m feeling it in my back and one hip. However, I can now see daylight at the end of the tunnel. That is, the spare bed that’s been a “catch-all” for quite awhile has now been unloaded and the closet floor dis-covered and ready to vacuum.

The weatherman is predicting a storm for this weekend, my husband tells me, so this evening I’ll sit awhile and schedule tomorrow’s blog posts, in case the internet goes down overnight. We have satellite internet service and when there’s heavy cloud cover, service is iffy.

Here’s an item I posted a five years back, after a day of babysitting my grandchildren, ages six and two. It’s even more true today than it was then. 🙂

No Tramp-ing for Grandma

The Apostle Paul wrote, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” 1 Cor. 13:11

When I was a child I played as a child, too, tumbling, twisting, and hopping around as children will. I remember being almost four and jumping down from the hayloft of Grandpa’s old red barn, led by my adventurous brother Jim, eleven months older than I. We’d run into the barn, climb the ladder in the chicken coop fast as our little legs could take us into the hayloft, and jump about twelve feet down to the ground. Then do it all again.

Now my grandchildren can’t understand why Grandma doesn’t want to jump on the trampoline with them.

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” 1Cor. 10:23

Jumping on the tramp is an okay thing to do if you’re able, but my body doesn’t flex that much anymore. All things are lawful for me, but I will be sore for days after if I try performing acrobatic feats. All things are lawful for me, but my muscles may sprain or tear.

One day, hurrying home from work, I tore the muscle in my leg just stepping off a curb; I couldn’t put weight on that leg for a month after. It’s no fun having to hobble around on crutches for a month!

Yes, it would be okay for Grandma to jump on the trampoline, but the rebound might go on for days as my arthritic joints protest being treated to preschool activities. As it is, my lower back feels a few twinges after from lifting and carrying a chunky little almost-two-year old.

When I was a child I ran after other children all over the playground. Now that I’m old I can see why Grandpas & Grandmas are happiest tending their gardens. Plants may be a lot of work, but at least you don’t have to catch them first.

I love my grandchildren and count it a blessing that I can spend time with them, but they do remind me that I’m not so agile anymore.

Icicles and Snow Days

 

Our weather’s supposed to warm up in the next few days, then turn colder again. which means we’ll get icicles hanging from the eaves wherever roof snow has trickled down.

Icicle are so picturesque, don’t you think? And what child in the colder parts of the world hasn’t tried to eat an icicle? You crunched it with your teeth and loved the sensation of eating frozen glass.

Who among us hasn’t broken off a particularly long one to wave around like a spear, feeling its slippery smoothness? Tossed it like a javelin and listened to the splintering sound as it hit its target.

Perhaps you were wearing wooly mitts when you cracked the metre-long icicle off from the overhanging roof on a sunny day, then had your mittens freeze to the ice. When you finally were able to drop it, you found fuzzy fibers stuck to the icicle and your mitt had a thinner spot.

I suppose there are places in the world where icicles never form, let along get to be six feet long. One can’t imagine them hanging down from trees in the Amazon rain-forest, or in caves along the Nile. What deprivation! On the other hand, we were in Quebec during the infamous “Enfer de glace” when steady rain for almost a week and temps hovering at the freezing point gave “ice” a whole new meaning!

Likewise, what northern climate child hasn’t tried to catch a snowflake on his tongue? Or you open your mouth to the falling flakes and try to catch a dozen, feeling the tickle of cold as they land on your face, powdering your nose and hair.

What child doesn’t love being out in a fresh thick blanket of snow. You swish through the whiteness, plowing it aside with your feet. Or flop down and make a snow angel. When the snow’s falling thick and fast you can look around and feel yourself all alone in this whitening world, leaving your own trail. Your own personal mark in time and place.

Then you glance back and watch the snow filling in your footprints, erasing your passage, making the world white again. You get a fleeting sense of your own life story, your own mortality.

The falling snow wipes out all your missteps and stumbles. Snow renews our hope that such things are possible, that we can have our missteps in this world erased by a merciful heavenly hand.

Snow is created for the senses; it’s created for the bliss of an exploring child. And for a lot of folks it has this figurative sense as well: forgiveness and a life cleansed from impurity.

First posted Nov 19, 2015 as a response to the WordPress Daily Prompt,
where we were to do a post describing some aspect of the sense of touch.