This time last week I was in tropical Far North Queensland with my parents and my siblings. We were gathering round the Manger, at my sister’s home,
preparing to celebrate Christmas as of old. There was warmth in the air, in our hearts, and in the prolific poinciana glowing near the front door.
This week I am home again, in cooler Christchurch. My house seems too large and too empty, but the quiet stillness gives me time to prepare for the New Year. I fill the vases with the flowers that have bloomed in my absence.
There are flowers for the kitchen window sill,
flowers for the bedroom,
and some for the table, too.
Around the silence of the blooms, there travels bird song without, and words within…..
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind….
Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land….
“Ring Out, Wild Bells” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1850 ).
And with bells ringing, there comes music swelling into the emptiness of the rooms.
Let the old go, let the new come. Welcome the year with unburdened, open arms. Greet it with love and warmth and the expectation that it will be good (but not necessarily easy). Know that with kindness and hugs you will have the fortitude to do your best. As it always has been and always will be.
If you would like a gentle blessing to ease out the night, I would suggest listening with me to Benedictus by Karl Jenkins.
Thank you for visiting my blog and liking one of my posts. Blessings, Natalie 🙂
It was a pleasure.
Gorgeous flowers!! I always associate Christmas with cold. One of these days, I want to go somewhere warm. 🙂 Happy New Year!
Hope your dream comes true. 🙂
We’ll see. My children always hope for sledding. 🙂
Yes, and for now they are a priority. 🙂
Thank you for all your responses
“I must have flowers, always, and always.”
― Claude Monet
Yes, indeed, and I wish I could paint them like he did.
Happy new year and best wishes to you and yours for health, happiness, peace & prosperity in 2015!
Thanks Russel Ray. Wishing you the same.
What a beautiful way to bring in the new year – your flowers bring comfort and cheer to the new year and home. Lovely message, I enjoyed this post very much! Happy New Year and all the best for 2015.
Mary, reading over this post again, I wish I had found a real bell to ring in the New Year. I must have one somewhere in the house but where is the question. Perhaps I will find it in time for 2016.
+ Happy New Year! I almost forgot…your empty house got me off on a thought:-)
Thank you! And your thoughts are appreciated. Keep them coming.
Oh my, you must be back from decluttering:-) The photos of the flowers, BEAUTIFUL…we have snow + better cold temps below zero today. I miss flowers:-( from my garden:-) lovely music + poem……I can relate to the empty home now that Christmas has passed + my kids are grown and gone. Last one moved out last summer. It seems more empty when one can’t work in the garden. My oldest daughter lives in Stockholm and is having twins ( boy and girl) in April. I wish she lived closer for I know this place would not be so empty:-) I have only 2 grandsons 2 + under by my two older daughters, one does live in the same town down the street and he will be 2 this summer + gardening with me-so my house + garden will not be empty for too long:-)
Empty homes and gardens have a way of soon filling up especially if they are places that are already full of love and goodness. How wonderful it will be when you get to see the twins and when the twins are old enough to visit you. Good times to look forward to. Decluttering….hmmmmm…..is not yet over. The pace has slowed. 😦
Lovely. Happy new year to you. I enjoyed the Tennyson poem. your blooms are cheery on a cold, slushy, Canadian, January morning where the dead branches of the contorted filbert are all that the garden has to offer up of interest.
But filberts must be lovely in spring, summer and fall! Filbert is not a word I hear very often. What a pity, it’s such a good word on the ear.
It is always nice to visit loved one, but it is also nice to be back home where everything is familiar. You have such beautiful flowers. Photos like yours make me yearn for warmer climes. Have a healthy and prosperous 2015.
Same to you Zambian Lady. I am sure you recall the beautiful jacaranda in Zambia. I loved our street in Lusaka when the jacaranda trees were in bloom; just gorgeous.
Happy New Year! It looks like such a beautiful time of year in New Zealand.
Thanks Sheryl. This time and early spring are probably my favourite times in New Zealand. 🙂
How very tropical and celebratory. Happy new year! Love the music and the poem, thank you Gallivanta.
Thank you Juliet. The flowers in Cairns were perfect for the summer solstice. The thing you can’t see in the Cairns photo are all the tiny ants that invited themselves to the nativity/floral display. 😀
And various members of my family loved your solstice cards.
I’m so glad they liked the cards. I’m just back from my last bit of holiday and have lots of catching up to do!
Don’t catch up too fast!