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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Winding Down

Always in December, I rediscover the whimsy of colored lights blooming on the tiny pines in our backyard, the majesty of the staid white lights adorning the spotlighted bushes in front.  This year, I dragged my husband not once, but twice through a neighborhood of McMansions a few miles away, whose owners compete, embellishing their yards with glittering swarms of lights— blinking bangles of bracelets and necklaces, entire collections wrapped around every branch of every tree.  It's the season of decoration.  I love the white crocheted angels we tucked away for safety seven years ago when the kitty arrived and rediscovered this year—and the antique music box unpacked from its nest of tissue and placed at the center of the table.

The Christmas season delivers such a sense of wonder that a pit of loss expands in my gut when I think of packing up the nutcrackers gracing our mantel, of pulling the bows off  the drooping Christmas tree before tossing it out the back door, of driving up to a house lit by a single lamp post. 

But yesterday provided a reminder... 

Though a high pressure system painted the sky blue, the wind howled through the trees, brooming the bare lawn with a litter of pine branches.  When you live by the shore, wind brings a show.  So yanking on hats and scarves and pulling out two cameras, my husband and I drove down to the harbor and tiptoed up a private drive to the porch of a stone and brick boathouse. 

 

There we watched seagulls chase a late afternoon lobster boat to his mooring, while waiting for a setting sun to reflect pink on the clouds in the eastern sky.  Sheltered from the chillling gusts, we hoped to capture an extraordinary moment on an ordinary winter day. 


In the end though, an off-shore breeze limited the ocean’s drama, and the wind drove the clouds away.  Disappointed, we turned back toward the car and discovered a subtle show taking place behind us—the backlit legs of the boarded-up yacht club, peeling aqua paint flaking from an abandoned wooden dinghy. 



 
Clicking away, we recalled the blessings these quiet adornments offer year round—a silent beauty always available—one that never has the need to compete.  



Wishing you all a New Year filled with beauty.

20 comments:

Lost_without_a_Map said...

Wow, beautiful. I was with you. Um-mmm, do you have a guest bedroom?

Old Kitty said...

Hope you get to keep your decorations up for a while longer! I never take mine down until after the first week of January! LOL!

Have a great New Year!! You have a wonderful view to see 2012 in!!! Take care
x

jabblog said...

It is a gift to see beauty in all things, great or small.

Juliann Wetz said...

I don't know which is more beautiful: these pictures or your descriptions of them. Thanks for sharing this experience with us.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I love the quiet, subtle beauty as well as the spectacular. Those photos are lovely. Here on the other coast, the morning has dawned in a blanket of fog, my neighborhood is muted.
I know what you mean about the sadness of putting meaningful holiday objects away. But that makes the thrill better one year later! Happy new year, my friend.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

There is beauty in all things if we look. And you are an expert at finding that beauty with your camera.
Happy New Year, Liza!

Tonja said...

Beautiful post and pictures. I think that's much prettier than Christmas lights. Have a wonderful New Year!

Robin said...

I have missed these posts. I always feel like I have been on a nature walk with you. I never know what I will see, but I am sure it will be spectacular. I have to admit I was expecting one heck of a storm and I got a peeling boat. The fact that I wasn't at all disappointed makes you one gifted storyteller:-)

Yvonne Osborne said...

You always have the prettiest pictures. I love the Christmas lights too and try to leave them up until after the Epiphany. The needles are really dropping off the tree this time though so I don't know if it'll make it. Happy New Year!

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

This year, we used all white lights and though it was more subtle and I did miss some of the color- along with my nephew who asked me 'what happened to the rainbowy lights?', I have to say being able to leave them up a little longer without offending the neighbors is the great side of things.
We've actually had some beautiful sunny days here in the Northwest this December and I too have enjoyed some wonderful sunsets. :) The winter light quality is magnificent sometimes.

jbchicoine said...

Gosh, I'll take natural lighting over holiday lights any day! Those are some really great shots, Liza--oh that I could be in NE!

All the best to you in the upcoming year! :)

Maryann Miller said...

Gorgeous pictures and a wonderful way to end the year. Thanks for sharing.

Talei said...

Wonderful view and pictures. I especially love the little old dinghy. Have a wonderful new years eve and all the very best for 2012!

Anne Gallagher said...

Thanks for the pics. Happy New Year.

missing moments said...

Wishing you all of the best in 2012 Liza!

Wine and Words said...

The lighting is just gorgeous. Don't you feel satisfied when you are there for the moment (for it is just that) when your lens can capture such a thing of movement?

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Your photographs are so beautiful, they should be turned into oil paintings. (Don't mind me. It's January ... I always get the itch to paint in January.) A very Happy New Year to you.

Helen Ginger said...

As always, I love your pictures. I would love to live near or on the water.

Jan Morrison said...

oh I love this! It is true so true - I often strive in one direction for an effect and then voila! the world behind my back is doing something so subtle and marvellous.
Thanks gentle photographer, perceptive writer!

Joanne said...

A beautiful post, especially the thought of maybe sadness at putting away the wonder of Christmas when we put away the decorations. But as you show us, wonder is all around us always, isn't it?