Tuesday, January 8, 2013

taking down

And I notice you in children's games
In those who watch you from the shade
Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder
You are summer

On display since May, Chihuly glass sculptures added sparkle and awe to the arboretum during a sizzling, dry summer.  But when fall arrived, I preferred the gardens be adorned with only pumpkins. 

Still I notice you when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what's to come
You are autumn

Fall may be my favorite season; something to do with brisk but sunny days, happy pumpkins everywhere, plump crab cakes offered on our Thanksgiving table.  I cannot fill my house or heart with enough pumpkins; classic orange, cream colored, scarlet, even pale, smoky blues!

I've tried the past few years to purchase pumpkins early, knowing before I'm willing, I'll be forced to discard them, the neighborhood Christmas lights and abundant yard art will suddenly surround, shaming me even before November has become December.


I took down pumpkins from shelves and bookcase crannies and the front concrete planter they shared with nubby gourds. 

Spoke took down the three green tubs that store those objects which transform a Thanksgiving house into a Christmas house; beautiful ornaments to admire, tapestry stockings to hang, and cherished Christmas books placed within reach, books like Gift of the Magi and A Child's Christmas in Wales. 

On New Year's Eve, we let down our hair.

Soon after, we took down Christmas.

Despite daytime temps hovering in the forties, Dallas air can feel like bitter twenties if it's cloudy and windy, which is why I declined the arboretum's recent public invitation to watch the Chihuly sculptures be taken down.

Chihuly with pumpkins at Thanksgiving and at Christmas and at New Year's was overwhelming; too many gifts, too much I say.  I was ready to see them go.

I've waited for empty January days to arrive, anxious to see the arboretum bare, so on the beautifully bright and crisp Sunday past, I did just that. 

Much had been taken down.  

The park was spacious, sparse, and subtle.  Spectacular! 

It won't be long before we'll have to take down the beautiful flocked tree which still stands proudly in our house at the window, reminding us there's much more winter yet to come.

And everything in time and under Heaven
Finally falls asleep
Wrapped in blankets white
All creation shivers underneath

This season too will pass and I'll head back to the gardens, ready to celebrate a different excess; that which spring will bring.

And everything that's new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
And what was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green.

Every Season, Nichole Nordeman

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