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Book of Days

BOOK OF DAYS: A POET AND NATURALIST TRIES TO FIND POETRY IN EVERY DAY

Filtering by Tag: New Year's Eve

December 31: Tracks

Kristen Lindquist

As we grabbed shovels to clear the path to the office this morning, we noticed a distinct line of big bird tracks in the snow that had drifted across the front patio. A crow had clearly walked in the freshly sifted snow right past our front door. Around the corner under my feeders, more tracks, smaller, of songbirds hopping in the snow after seeds.

All morning, no birds
but tracks in the snow,
runes cast for the new year.

December 31: New Year's Eve

Kristen Lindquist

We rang out the old year today by taking down the Christmas tree, carefully removing each beloved ornament, packing it away for another year. The process is always a bittersweet one for me. I love seeing the soft glow of the tree's white lights (and one string of red cardinal lights) each evening. And I enjoy the balsam fragrance of the live tree here in our living room. But it's time. Christmas has passed, needles are everywhere, and I like to begin the new year with a fresh, clean house. So down it came, and then the house-cleaning happened, and little things like filling the bird feeder. We showered and shaved. My husband is now making a salad to take to our friends' house for dinner. I've even paid my current bills, so I can start the new year debt free.

A dear friend has a ritual that the first thing that passes her lips in the new year is smoked salmon. Other friends have posted things on Facebook about grapes and black-eyed peas. The peas are lucky in some way, and apparently you're supposed to stuff your mouth with 12 grapes and then spit out the seeds. For me, I guess my ritual is to start the year in good shape, with a clean house and a clean slate.

Hard rain washes clean
yard, house, cars... washes away
the last of the year.