Fresh Starts

Snowy Night
by Mary Oliver

Last night, an owl
in the blue dark
an indeterminate number
of carefully shaped sounds into
the world, in which,
a quarter of a mile away, I happened
to be standing.
I couldn’t tell
which one it was –
the barred or the great-horned
ship of the air –
it was that distant. But, anyway,
aren’t there moments
that are better than knowing something,
and sweeter? Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness. I suppose
if this were someone else’s story
they would have insisted on knowing
whatever is knowable – would have hurried
over the fields
to name it – the owl, I mean.
But it’s mine, this poem of the night,
and I just stood there, listening and holding out
my hands to the soft glitter
falling through the air. I love this world,
but not for its answers.
And I wish good luck to the owl,
whatever its name –
and I wish great welcome to the snow,
whatever its severe and comfortless
and beautiful meaning.

A fresh year is almost here; the past one a blur almost as memorable for what wasn't done as for what was accomplished. Replant the backyard? Gadzooks! It's only been a year. Slow your roll.

I'm dancing more between Zumba and ballet and now Pure Barre for an excuse to take buckets of Advil strength building. Hubby and I started Vintage Swing dance lessons which kind of require going out to places where people dance, like social dancing, which makes it a bit more intimidating. I barely know the steps with Hubs let alone a stranger. Also, I'm a counter. I need to count the steps to get the rhythm settled into my brain. Fancy Dancers pooh-pooh the counting.

I have not cleared out all the clothes, books, costumes, projects, and memories the grrrrls have left behind. I read 7 and 1/2 of the 11 NYT critics books of 2016 that I resolved to myself. I lost one radio station(WNKU) to financial realities and found another(WMKV) that plays the American Songbook and old radio shows--think Jack Benny and Fibber McGee. Been more in touch with my father and his second family after his hospitalization this summer. Did not plant impatiens in the backyard or sit around the fire pit enough. Went to Alaska in early summer to visit Honey-Haired grrrrl and Northern California a little before Thanksgiving where the whole family could reunite and bond while binging Scandal.

However, time passes, quickly, slowly, relentlessly and like all other passings will be the last pages of this year's journal for the stiff to open, waiting to see what happens, clean white pages of the new one. Always the best one.


  1. So glad to see you here. I start a new job next week (not my idea), so I really am starting fresh for the new year.

    I canNOT dance. Guilty feet & no rhythm, apparently. So good for you!

    1. Break a leg with your new work! And, my dancing is very's why I keep my day job. ;-)


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