Thursday, January 07, 2016

Poetry Friday: The Holidays May Be Over, but Holidays Aren't Over

The holidays are ending, though our Christmas tree is still up. It usually is until the Sunday after the Epiphany, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. 

I'm in that in-between state, both savoring the last few days off with the college girls (we made gingerbread cookies today) and getting myself organized, ready to dive into schedules and routines, prepping for math with Ramona. 

But when the holidays end, holidays aren't over. "Secret anniversaries of the heart" happen all year. 

Here's to the coming year, here's to a 2016 full of "happy days unclouded to their close." 

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart,
When the full river of feeling overflows;—
The happy days unclouded to their close;
The sudden joys that out of darkness start
As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!
White as the gleam of a receding sail,
White as a cloud that floats and fades in air,
White as the whitest lily on a stream,
These tender memories are;— a Fairy Tale
Of some enchanted land we know not where,
But lovely as a landscape in a dream.


Tabatha Yeatts has the round up today.


p.s. Ramona, where's my iPod? (I had to cheat with an old tree picture: notice the presents beneath it. My iPod/camera was nowhere to be found.) :) 


Doraine Bennett said...

I'm laughing at your communication over the iPad! Not having grown up in a liturgical setting, I haven't a lot of background on Epiphany. But I've been reading a weekly collection of meditations compiled by Sarah Arthur, called Light Upon Light. It follows the church calendar. And I'm really enjoying this slow drawing out of the season, allowing myself the whole month of January to "epiph"!

Karen Edmisten said...

Doraine, we love the drawn out celebration! So glad you are enjoying it, too!

And, I found my iPod this morning. (She's actually really good about plugging it in to charge when she's done with it for the day.) :)

tanita✿davis said...

I remember learning the words "epoch" and "epiphany" when I was a child from reading Anne of Green Gables -- not a liturgical setting exactly, but the wonder and near-sacredness of her rapturous exclamations over her life, friendships and times in the Violet Vale simply thinking made me long to celebrate Epiphany as a thing of wonder. Reading more of the liturgical traditions and meanings really enlarged on that for me - so today's poem is especially lovely.

Tabatha said...

"The sudden joys that out of darkness start/
As flames from ashes"

jama said...

I love that -- secret anniversaries of the heart. This poem is new to me. Just lovely! We still have our tree up -- will likely leave it up all year (a tribute to my mom). Hope you solve the mystery of the missing iPod soon. :)

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

So much truth to this. What better reason to celebrate than "secret anniversaries of the heart." Thanks for sharing, Karen.

Karen Edmisten said...

Tanita, I love the tying in of Anne of Green Gables!
Tabatha, I love that line, too.
Jama, how lovely that your tree will be up all year as a tribute to your mom! (And the iPod was found!) :)
Michelle, thanks for stopping by to join us for secret anniversaries of the heart.

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Beautiful poem, Karen. I love Longfellow's lyricism. We also try to keep the tree up as long as we can, as well - usually not taking it down until Epiphany. Enjoy your January!

Mary Lee said...

Those first few lines are a great reminder that holidays (and holiness) are with us at all times if we will only keep our eyes and hearts open!

Karen Edmisten said...

I love his lyricism, too, Matt.
Mary Lee, yes to keeping eyes and hearts open!

Buffy Silverman said...

A new poem to me--love the secret anniversaries of the heart. That resonates with me, those anniversaries that are happy, and those that bring a twinge of sadness. Both worth celebrating.

Karen Edmisten said...

I agree, Buffy -- it conjures the entire spectrum of memories.

Alicia VH said...

This poem is wonderful and so true! Thank you for introducing it to me!!! :)

Karen Edmisten said...

Alicia, so happy you enjoyed it!