Ancient History

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First Snow

I could tell from first-light it had snowed, before looking out the window. Snowy mornings have a glow that seeps in between the cracks of the blinds and curtains. One by one, the kids made their way into our room to wake us up, not knowing our first snow had arrived. I told them to go downstairs and look out the window into the backyard.

Soon I heard screaming: “It’s CHRISTMAS!! It’s CHRISTMAS!!” No, it’s just November.

John Updike wrote a lovely book of poetry for children entitled A Child’s Calendar. Each month has its own poem, and I have always liked “November”. Here it is, to celebrate new snow and a new month:

The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The loss of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.

And yet the world,
Displays a certain

The beauty of
The bone. Tall God
Must see our souls
This way, and nod.

Give thanks: we do,
Each in his place
Around the table
During grace.

It is simple and crisp, like November itself.

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