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Sunday, 23 December 2012

on this night, on this very Christmas night

My mantel
"The spirits can do any thing they like of course" (A Christmas Carol), even old Kris Kringle knows how to come down an electric fireplace!

 Butchart Gardens

 This Yuletide fantasia of lights is a family tradition along with "A Christmas Carol" ( the old Alister Sim version), but on this night a sudden downpour prevented me from taking more photos.  It takes about an hour to wind our way through sunken gardens and over bridges and down secret paths searching for the 12 Days of Christmas;  a must at this time of year as you cannot help but be drawn into the magic of a story told with such radiance and humour. Then there is ice skating to music as strolling musicians and carolers also make their way. Afterwards  we take time to sit and have a hot chocolate by a roaring fire in the cafe and finally go  home smiling, dreaming of golden pear trees and french hens wearing berets and drinking cafe au lait - Oh and having the urge to call one of the calling birds on it's cellphone.
  My favourites are the "creepy puppets"(named so by Tamra who sang the 12 day count very loudly so anyone who may have forgotten the words would know what to expect next). The 11 pipers are lifesized Venetian marionettes piping in the Italian garden!!
(For a more complete version see the Butchart Christmas video from 2010 at page footer ).

Butchart Gardens

The jewelled cosmic tree

5 Golden Rings

Share it with a child!

"A smile is the sun that drives winter from the face" Victor Hugo

Blowing kisses from the Christmas Carousel at Butchart


outdoor skating at Butchart Gardens

Creepy puppets

Wishing you a magical Christmas
( I said he'd be back)

Waiting up to meet the Christ Child


Friday, 21 December 2012

Fra Angelico's Greeting

snow on Triangle mountain BC

I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep.
There is nothing I can give you which you have not already, but there
is much, very much, which though I cannot give it, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today.

Take heaven.

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this precious
little instant.

Take peace.

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our
reach is joy. There is radiance and courage in the darkness could we
but see; and to see, we have only to look.
Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their
coverings, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the
covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of
love, and wisdom, and power. Welcome it, greet it, and you touch the
angel's hand that brings it.

Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, a duty, believe me, that angel's
hand is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing
Our joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal
diviner gifts.
Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its
covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.
Courage, then, to claim it, that is all! But courage you have, and the
knowledge that we are pilgrims wending through unknown country our way

And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you,
not quite as the world sends greeting, but with profound esteem now
and forever.
The day breaks and the shadows flee away.

-Christmas greeting from a letter written by
Italian Franciscan friar and painter Giovanni da Fiesole
(Fra Angelico) 1387-1455
Our own little drummer boy

The Little Drummer Boy
sung by an unknown with a little help from the Vienna
Boy's Choir.

so far so good on Dec 21, 2012


Happy Holidays!!

connect to previous posts  http://dreamshadowexcursions.blogspot.ca/

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

the end of the 13th B'akt'un

Happy Birthday dear brother, You are much missed.   May God keep you eternally and in peace!!

 You loved the Mayans and their Calendar,  -and comet Hale Bopp. :)

In the jaws of Kukulkan
(taken at Sayil, on the Ruta Puuc in Yucatan in Feb 2012)

Humming the morning electric
( very early sun rise with first snow!)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

For mom on her birthday

What a glorious winter morning on the hill!!

Winter Jewels on Pieris Japonicus

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Joyous heavens and cold winter

Advent Preparations

(click on thumbnails for larger view)

Loreena McKennitt- The King

The castle beckons

A season symbolizing hope and light.
I love advent season, the lighting of candles at the altar, the silent purity of falling snow, the music of Noel, sweet baby Jesus in the manger and the opening of the heavens.

Fairies courtesy of Raven, Tamra and little King Raine

They finally found Jack tucked away at the edge of the frozen crystal forest

 A winter night's dream

My heavenly mantel 

I've had this angel sitting on my mantel ever since my father died some years ago. It always reminds me of him as he so loved Christmas. His eyes would light up like a child's when he stood back from decorating the tree while the sounds of a Yuletide Pavarotti played.   Our house was never dull and on Christmas day it was aglow with a spirit of generosity and good cheer,  full of family and visiting friends and the smell of mom's great cooking.  May this angel and the baby Jesus hold in the light those who are loved and missed this Christmas, father and mother, grandparents, all-  and our  dear brother who made us beautiful stained glass birds one year and gave Dad a fish that sang "Take me to the River."

A Christmas Past
I'll be home for Christmas.. (if only in my dreams) A Tribute

Our house on the hill

With great sadness I heard that
our once lovely old home beside the University lands is no longer standing.  The neighbourhood has grown over the past 20 years and fell prey to rezoning. It is now upgraded and modernized into an upscale urban community, in other words in just a few short years, almost unrecognizable. One more lesson of the changeability of this life and to seize each moment fully as it is given us,  and  then also to be able to let it go. (the harder of the two)

A melody of yesterday remains playing in our hearts as mom waves a welcome to all through the frosty kitchen window and we with hearts of Noel are walking up the road to step through that front door again!!
"Yes, the news­pa­pers were right: snow was gen­eral all over Ire­land. It was falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, fur­ther west­wards, softly falling into the dark muti­nous Shan­non waves. It was falling too upon every part of the lonely church­yard where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and head­stones, on the spears of the lit­tle gate, on the bar­ren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the uni­verse and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the liv­ing and the dead."-  James Joyce "The Dead"

Dean lighting candles before the Grace- ten or more people would eventually sit down to dinner

Blessings on the dear old house and on us all and to those
                   still cherished and remembered in the book of life, we will
meet again

and now to embrace it all, joy and sadness together and go and make a proper cup of tea!! ( Pema Chodron)