Tonight, it smells like snow. Or December. I think December has a very distinct smell that reminds me of The Carpenters, John Denver‘s “Aspenglow” song, Columbia, California and clearly Christmas. It’s this woodsmoke and cold, mountain air. It’s misty cold from the pines. It’s pines. It’s the smell of Christmas trees and old candy canes.
Snow smells. People that don’t get snow wouldn’t understand, but snow has this metallic, slightly dirty smell. Like damp dust. Only it’s cleaner and fresher. And colder. I know it sounds strange to say snow smells like dust, but every snowflake is made from a speck of dust. you would not have snow unless you had dirt. Sounds even stranger. But seriously, melt snow and the water isn’t very clean at the bottom. And it tastes weird. Definitely dirty. I like to eat snow, but even it doesn’t taste like clean water. Yet you think it is because it’s white.
So, tonight, it smells like metallic cold pines and woodsmoke.
Tonight I smell snow.
That being said, I don’t know if it’s going to snow, but it might be in the mountains. All of California is getting much needed precipitation of some sort.
I was inspired recently by C.B. Wentworth‘s post on haikus, The Haiku Debate. Her article was quite interesting and I urge you all to go take a look. I liked how she talked about traditional form and non traditional. The 5-7-5 rules and how Japanese haiku was never written in three lines, but one long line. I figured that out from reading Liza Dalby‘s East Wind Melts the Ice (a personal favorite book of mine).
I actually really like haiku, though I don’t read much of it. It’s rather soothing, short and says a whole lot in a very little space. I’m very wordy, never get my point across quickly, and ramble. So this is like a breath of fresh air for me. So, haiku is this cute little package of poetry. You can jot it down on a small piece of paper and it doesn’t take up any room.
So I pulled out my Haikubes the other night and used them to come up with two wintery haikus. I just picked some keywords and added in what I thought fit for the time of year. Here is what I came up with
English: Flying geese over Marsh Farm Marsh Farm campsite http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1396185 has lots of fishing lakes to attract birds, these seem to live on the site full time apart from when they all take their evening flight. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Grand icy traveling
Fire warms any heart
Flocks of lofty geese
Flying giant arrow vees
Wind over water
They might not be quite right, but I liked the thought. And it’s practice. I feel I should probably read Basho’s book on haiku, but I’ve not gotten around to reading it yet. I only have so much time for poetry and I have a lot of poets I follow now.
But I want to thank C.B. for her post because it was the inspirational kick I needed.
Of course Christmas type things are always inspirational, but you have to have ballerinas, velvet dresses and such to complete a Saturday Inspires for December. Hey, if I can’t have my tree yet, then I’ll make the best of it with images.
Eve and Noel, identical twins in almost every way. Born only a couple minutes apart, Eve on the 24th, and Noel on the 25th, they were named after the holiest of days. Serene and elegant, both women were lovely to look at and calming to be around.
They both attended the Christmas Eve service with their parents. Eve wore a forest green, velvet dress, the skirt full from layers upon layers of tulle, with one of the layers edged in delicate silver, giving a glint as she walked. Her heels were matching velvet, with silver glitter on the four inch heels, twinkling as she walked. She kept with the theme of forest green on her nails, and a huge emerald and silver ring on her middle finger. Silver and green like a diamond Christmas tree, said her father. She had giggled in delight. Every year a specific color stood out for the holiday season. Last year it had been cranberry red, the year before, silver, black, and red.
While Eve was resplendent in green, Noel was in shades of sapphire blue. They set each other off perfectly with their red gold hair, similar to Rosemary Clooney’s in White Christmas. They were a statement as they walked into the little chapel, arms linked as they made their way to their favorite pew to the delicate strains of “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.”
Heads turned as watched the two women. Neither of them were proud, but it was impossible to ignore the stir they made.
“Our girls look like models,” their father remarked as he and his lovely wife followed behind their daughters; and it was true.
Okay, I wrote this piece of flash fiction last year on Christmas Eve. There wasn’t much of a plot other than velvet dresses and Rosemary Clooney. Enjoy
2013’s Christmas tree at the home of Kate’s Bookshelf.
It is the first of December already. How is this possible? Wasn’t it just July? Wasn’t it just hot?
Normally by this time of year we would either have a. purchased the Christmas tree from a tree farm, b. already had the tree up, or c. it was in the bucket of water waiting to go up. None of those apply this year. We have yet to get our tree even due to relying on a friend to cut down a tree from the National forest and bringing it to us. Where we live, we can get a lovely tree for only $10 if you get a permit from the Forest Service and go out into the forest and cut one down.
There is nothing quite like having a fresh tree from the forest. They are spectacular, bugs included because yes, they come with bugs. Or spiders. I mean, it’s from the forest. What do you expect? Sterile and sprayed with chemicals? I don’t think so. And I don’t do artificial. Last year we were getting our permit from the forest service and the two young guys working there, rangers, were discussing the fact that one of them only has an artificial tree and sprays it down with pine tree scent so it smells. What The!!!? I mean, come on. You work for the forest service. You know where the trees are. You know that the forest is filled with too many trees. (and people that live in the city and are liberal, don’t try to tell me we are running out of trees. that is a pile of crap. A huge load of hog crap [why hog? because it smells worse than cow])
I love having a Christmas tree up. Usually it is up for a good two months. Yes, just when people are thinking about Valentine’s Day is when our tree is finally coming down. Sue me. I love Christmas.
So, I am anxiously waiting for our tree. Not quite ready to figure out the rearranging of the living room to fit said tree, but well, that’s part of life.
I think I’m a little nuts, but I’m going to attempt a 25 days of Christmas; though it’s more like 25 days of December.
I liked doing the 31 Days of October (look up to your upper right. There, see the tab? Click that for the 31 Days) and I thought it might be fun to keep the ball rolling for December. And like anything else I write about, not all will be themed with Christmas because I just can’t be that kitschy. So there will be winter and books and Christmas and thought provoking. Pretty much a usual day for Kate’s Bookshelf.
First post is coming right up with a post called Trees. Then you can keep track of these days by going under the 31 Days of October heading and you will have a new page for the 25 Days challenge. I hope that makes sense. I didn’t think about it when I started the 31 Days challenge. I should have aligned it better. Live and learn.
Okay, my Haiku a Day has seriously taken a hit when it comes to writing or posting. So, in order to correct some of that… A plethora of haikus.
Pardon the lack of posts. I’ve been terribly uninspired by haiku.
Long winter grasses
Sorrowful whistling wind
Blows my mind away
Wood smoke rising high
Branches and leaves burn so hot
A warmth invades me
Winter rain on roof
tinkling softly at night
Thinking of springtime
Golden glow of lamp
Shines from my window at night
Dreaming of wishes
Rain dripping dropping
Thunderous water flows down
Floating in my thoughts
And clearly, my thoughts are on the rain that hasn’t stopped for three days. Three days of nonstop rain. I’ve had enough. I know, I could live in Seattle. But I’m not in Seattle. So, in a cramped house, with four people, the rain needs to stop. At least so I can get out and walk a bit.
Okay, it’s not bad. I didn’t pull out the haikubes today, and I was not inspired at all to write, but, the moon is out, not full, but bright in the cold winter sky. I have a fascination with the moon, so this goes. I hope the last line steps to the side like Kaitlin, over on The Athlete Series, recommended I do. Well, I guess it will just take practice.