Knit and Purl

Knit and purl

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Knit the yarn

Click and purl

Weave and braid

Loop and curl

Blanket beds

Shelter heads

From the cold

Up ahead.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Darkness and Light

light path

As the holiday season comes into swing (even if the weather on the East Coast has not gotten the memo…), I find myself thinking of the theme of light that permeates the season; and of the fears of darkness it hopes to overcome.

Someone noted to me–rather resentfully–how angry they are with the holiday season “hijacked by all this talk of fear and dark and hate and ugliness.” I was a bit surprised, because to me it was the opposite: This is probably the most apt time of year to face polarities of light and dark … Oh, it is a most difficult subject to approach and manage, but what can be more timely than doing so in the time of celebrating light and highlighting the survival or the birth of a religion? Or humanity’s perception of possible ongoing life?

So I think of the realities of shadows that too many are hell-bent on casting (either in advocacy of terror or in preaching overgeneralized fear and hate); and I think of the many lights that can chase those shadows away. I think of those who somehow gravitate more toward dark than illumination; and of the many who find light a far more satisfying source of power than adding to the pool of dark.

This year the battle between light and darkness may be especially evident, but the struggle has been then for eons; as did the valiant effort to shine light onto darkness and highlight life, not death.

This time of year, particularly.

The approach of the longest night has always been a time of worry and wariness. All through history, humans have found ways to combat it with light and celebrations, prayer and devotion, with reminders of the light-to-come and the reminiscing on the light that did return even after times of darkness. The miracle of light and hope and life.

Peoples the world over have some holiday of light around this time of year. Christianity itself ‘piggybacked’ onto existing holidays (and moved the celebration of the ‘birth of Christ’ from the summer, when Jesus was actually born, to near the Winter Solstice), to fill the need to note light and rebirth at the time of utmost darkness. People always needed to remind and rejoice the slow return of longer daylight and the promise of regrowth, spring, future harvests; life.

So … maybe it is not so strange that we are facing yet another battle of dark and light in this time of archetypical struggle between a sense of doom and a holding on to hope. There have probably always been those naysayers who predicted death, destruction, loss (or who hung the prevention of awfulness on penance and ‘sacrifices’). However, history itself also shows how humanity repeatedly–universally–found a way to hold light high and sparkle it abundantly. Cultures chased dark not with gloom but with sharing light, kindness, warmth, and celebration.

May we, too, remember that light will come. Is already on its way to coming. May we hold fast to the knowledge that the days will slowly overcome the night of soul and darkness will lose hold and weaken. We can hasten it with sharing our own light. With spreading kindness. With opening our hearts to those in need. With refusing to feed or amplify the darkness. Dark needs growth to spread, but light is never diminished when it is shared. We can help it grow by holding on not to fear, but hope.

Wishing you and all a season — a lifetime — of light.

light

Winter Brr…

If the winter weather’s getting you shivery around the edges

and strikes a bit of waddle in your walk,

think cute …

penguin chick

If the chill gives you the blues,

puff it out

with color and

with attitude …

bluebird

If the cold brings out the grump,

Forget the chill,

go at it

with a friend …

red pandas in snow

The chill … will end …

 

Missing thumb…

Toddler on the street–temps below freezing, and the little guy is bundled up like an onion: scarves, hat, puffy coat over hoodie and who knows what else–his little arms sticking out scarecrowishly–all you see is eyes and a tip of nose …

“Mommy, my hands went away from my body and I can’t find my thumb.”

freeze

 

One World

Photo Credit: A.L.

Photo Credit: A.L.
Photo Credit: A.M.
Photo Credit: A.M.

There’s snow in the North hemisphere

There’s sun in the South

A mystery line that splits seasons

And turns the sun around

One world

Two halves

East and West, North and South

A multitude of places and

Even bigger one of beings

All unique in their glories

All striving for life

Photo Credit: A.A.
Photo Credit: A.A.

Ice coats sidewalks in New Hampshire

Sweat coats brows in Brazil

There are coats in Chicago

Flip flops Down Under

Naked trees in Vermont

Bikinied girls in Cape Town

All attires between

Photo Credit: O.B.
Photo Credit: O.B.

In all places are children:

Bundled up or

Bare armed

Booted and coated

Warmed in the sun

In a sphere blue with oceans

Currents, islands, trade winds

Charted lands

Charted songs

Charted trends

Blogged, tweeted, emailed heart lines

There’s a place of belonging

A tangible understanding

A gravity holding

Us all on shared ground.

Photo Credit: Y.B.
Photo Credit: Y.B.

(Spa Corner–February 2014)

Write on!

Today we had: No more snow. No new ice. Partial blue skies. Nice weather bluff and freezing sun. New York City a la Alaska.

Like quite a few of my townspeople, I am learning to appreciate what true northerners deal with every winter, throughout winter, September to late March. They may be chuckling at our overreaction to minus twenty in the sun, but when the Arctic visits this part of my world I am all the more grateful for how most days in this latitude are usually more temperate ones … 

Still, its cold outside. Educational opportunities abound. A child came with a school assignment to write about the “Cold Snap.”

The writing product of the chewed-off-pencil munchkin so far: “It is a cold like snapping peas because when you walk outside the snow snaps and the air snaps at your face and your fingers feel like they are going to snap off.”

Pretty snap on, don’t you think? 😉

Onward, Ice-world. Here I come!

When the Universe’s retrograde is retrograding, hang on for the ride…

Day in point:
I had to get to a medical appointment today. Knowing I’d be rather low-energy before it, I had pre-ordered car-service. Received a call that the car broke down and they won’t have a replacement in time. Nothing for it, but try to get a cab.

Ha! No chance. Half the city was waving hands at a handful of, obviously full, taxis. However, I’m a determined (read: desperate and wobbly) girl. So I froze. Waited. Tried the other corner. The far corner. Across the street. No luck. Figured there’s no way, gave in, took the bus crosstown (which included getting over the ice without adding to the tally of ‘wrist cases’ in local ERs) with the hope I’d maybe get a taxi there the rest of the way.

Joke’s on me–the same handful of taxis were still, well…full. Can’t blame them. I figured, if I got a taxi, I won’t be giving it up, either, if I were me… Nothing for it but to take the downtown bus, which of course picks up passengers not where it is plowed but on the unplowed side. It would be adventurous crossing on a regular snow-ice-mush day (even with a cane with an ‘ice-grip’ extension) but especially today when I was a bit vertically challenged already. Owee for my back, but yay for me, I did it. Stood there and froze with my fellow non-taxi-worthy-New-Yorkers. Finally a bus came that did not have a “next bus please” on it. We all of us levitated (um…not exactly) over the mountains of ice and ice-rinks into the bus which moved, sort of. SLOW SLOW, downtown.

I was of course late to my appointment, not to mention used up more energy than I did not have to begin with. But, I did it. Got through it all. All is okay now.

It wiped me out and was no fun BUT, in the tally of lessons
I did get to:
1.experience the full marvel of -10 windchill (it is especially poignant after a few minutes–for best effect, try more than 10 while standing on ice in a corner where the wind is amplified by tunnel-effect).
2. practice management of feelings of extreme jealousy when a lucky hand-waiver two blocks up from me managed to snatch the one available taxi in the whole town. The feeling was exquisite, shared by the people around me, and I think is generally magnified in direct opposite correlation to the temperature outside.
3. bond in an unspoken way with my fellow bundled up New Yorkers–we really ARE all the same, above all those layers (you can’t tell who’s who anyway…).
4. exercise my body’s frost-defrost-frost cycle (of which I had a preparatory course the day before when the heat broke in my building and we had indoor arctic chill–I did not even know I was getting get-to-doctor-bootcamp! See how everything happens for a reason?…)
5. put my new found learning into immediate action by instructing my pick-you-up-after friend to UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES to leave the taxi she was coming in. Wobbly or not, I was going to come down to her instead–no way I was giving up a taxi I knew was half-mine…

Total tally for the day: Universe 10, Na’ama 5 (but hey, five is more than none!) 😉

Onward, ice-world. Here I come!