This morning the sky is gray and the west wind blusters. The landscape is winter brown but now and then a flake of snow blows by the window. Except for the wind, the neighborhood is quiet. Today will be a day in the kitchen. Even for the two of us, I like to bake and cook for Christmas. I plan to make rolls from a recipe for Seven Grain Bread. Using the seven or eight grain cereal is a way to add a variety of grains to bread without buying specialty flours. I also decrease the seeds on top and bottom by quite a bit. That amount just fell off - everywhere. A warm kitchen on a cold day is a comfort. Walking today will require layers of wool and a will to face the wind.
Late in August a Carolina Wren appeared in our yard. I first heard her beautiful but unfamiliar song in the back yard. I couldn't see the bird but knew I had never heard the song. A few days later the wren visited the bird feeder and I identified it. This little wren hung around through the autumn and because the species isn't usually seen in southeast Nebraska, her presence seemed like a gift. Eventually I wrote this poem for my Christmas cards. (Poetic license lets me identify the bird as a female. The markings for male and female are similar.)
And so, to wish you all a wonderful holiday and a better new year, I post it here.
Carolina Wren *
November 24, 2020
A dusty bit of fluff in a striped
mask shelters in the birch.
A warbler from the old world, this little bird,
a Carolina wren, even her name a melody.
Rusted weathered wings
the color of tea in my Mother’s cup.
Pert tail lifted against the wind
that blew her off course, off kilter.
I cannot ask her to stay,
this summer song.
The way forward is far. But
at the edge of the horizon,
a change in the wind,
a glimpse of hope.
*Copyright Jane A. Wolfe