Hail, December…

In the wee dark hours before the dawning, there is quiet. There’s a clean, untouched template for thought to unspool, for wonderings to coalesce, for the threads to flutter together. For rope to be made from the strands.

The house breathes; the presence of furnace pending feeds into the churgle and whoosh of heat generated, a backdrop to the rhythm of thought. Time to gather up a pen, to put ponderings to paper. Or time to tap a keyboard and bring the indistinct into the light, peel away the crackling skin that surrounds, reveal the small, dark nugget of meaning.

And then to refinement. The light shining in the dark, the remote sleeping presence of Other People, the sighs and sleep-filled snuffling of a dreaming dog…those are the backdrop. Take the nugget. Hold it up to the light. See where there’s dross and see where there’s precious metal.

Then hammer it out.


And there’s a fine thing: the darkness removed, the precious metal gleams softly, reflected in the warm-lit window that holds dark night at bay.  Wrap that nugget in soft cloth wrapping; tie the bundle tight with the rope so deftly made.

There is something special about the unexpected hours spent, awake alone at night.


Suddenly, the broad sweep of Dresden Road is enlivened by lights—house after house: a panorama. White and multi-colored, bold blue, strands of red and green, pierce. Bobbing air-filled Snoopy dog, waving snowman, jolly inflated Santa. They are lit by spotlights; they are tinged with the glow of the ropes of light that shine from the houses around them.

December: the wee dark days of the year. But someone is up. Lights are on.

And all the year’s puzzles and creations and unfinished attempts–the songs and stories, the tears and illnesses, the triumphs and accidental victories–are spooling into ropes that bind the past to now, that weave a web to support what comes. And somehow, from that churning cauldron of a year, from all those chunks of precious metal painstakingly refined, a new metal is smelting, seething, bubbling. An alloy is bubbling forth, and creation is happening.

December is when the year’s precious metals heat over a fire hot and bright enough to flare into the darkest night, sending light and sending hope and promise.

December brings the alchemy: lets the elements combine, to seethe together, to be poured out to cool, to give us a solid ingot.

We will have our sturdy webbing, and that heavy precious ingot, and the darkness of December to ponder and to plan.