Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year

Sunlight streams from the eastern sky creating shadows on the deck and inside the house. Juncos, finches, chickadees, downy woodpecker, a male cardinal (where is his mate?) a pair of bluejays and a red-bellied woodpecker come to the feeders and yard. The red-bellied woodpecker is a rare sighting here. I watched him pick up a safflower seed and drill it into the birch trunk until the shell opened. I am not sure how the birds keep from freezing in the sub-zero temperatures. They surely need plenty of fuel to keep warm and fly back to safe quarters.

The sum of the last few days includes frigid wind chill outdoors and after-Christmas cleaning indoors. I like to start the New Year with a clean house. I have almost completed the third hat/mitten set for our Connecticut grandsons. They are easy knits except for the sizing. I made them to go with their winter coats and hope they will fit someone. This all started when Micah announced he wanted to wear a different hat every day. He likes them wild and crazy so I made him a hat from variegated yarn. And yes, those are hand-knitted socks on my feet at the bottom of the photo. Wool is a necessity these days.

Instead of New Year's resolutions, I choose a word/ theme for the year. The last few months, the refrain from "Anthem" (lyrics/poem) by Leonard Cohen kept coming to mind.

Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

So today I choose "light." The word has Germanic, Indo-European, Latin, and Greek roots with many derivations. For example, the Old English leoht, leah, and then lea is a pasture or meadow drenched in light. Luxury and deluxe from luster are American English derivatives. In the English language, "light" may be used as an adjective, noun, transitive, or as an intransitive verb. We can live lightly, a derivation used as an adverb. There are the scientific and spiritual definitions for the word. Light in the sky provides endless beauty. Light allows us to see color. Light creates shadows. All of this keeps my mind busy on bitterly cold days and for the coming seasons.  Slowly, the light returns.

Happy New Year!


  1. Our birds are the very same!! and so active and hungry. I put out fresh sunflowers seeds this morning and fresh thistle too. Poor birds!

  2. How well you know your birds. We had a woodpecker make a hole in a skinny tree of ours but I don't know if he's still around. What a wonderful grandmother you are to your grandsons. I like that crazy beanie you finished. Hau'oli Makahiki Hou.

  3. Light is a wonderful guiding word.

  4. Happy New Year! I love your word for the year and what it means. I pray you have a wonderful year ahead full of light :) You're knits are beautiful :)

  5. I would love to have bird feeders but I'm afraid our neighborhood cat would make life rather treacherous for them...joys of city living ...Light is a perfect word and I look forward to seeing how it plays out for you.

  6. happy new year, jane!!! Wonderful word to live by.