For this Time Being — thoughts inspired by Auden


after Auden

Well, so this is that again.
We are still dismantling trees,
unwinding the lights
of yet another year’s celebration,
packing our traditions in cardboard boxes
up to the attic, kissed with uncertainty
more Advent than Epiphany.

The children are adults –
they’ve come for Christmas
but we gave them our best gifts years ago,
and we can no longer expect them
to follow our stars, only their own.

Our parents are children now
and we work to show them a hint of wonder,
afraid each holiday will be their last.

We’ve given up loving all our relatives,
at least the cousins, as any sort of jolly feeling,
content with the kind of active love
that lets them be odd or cantankerous,
family less Currier and Ives, more Simpsons.

As in previous years we’ve experienced the Vision
as a swish of king’s robe
in the dry rustle of bed clothes
at a caroling visit,
or the straw illuminated
by the three year old Bethlehem star
whose mother carried her in.

We have seen the Child but, still be-Audened,
we have bills to pay, computers to boot up,
holy texts to send as text messages,
the happy morning of Christmas
to wash with Good Friday tears.

Though the Time Being is still redeemed
with its hope and suffering, too,
we guess our ordinary days
will take extraordinary courage,
every one a rehearsal for Easter, the Spirit
practicing across our keys scales of joy.

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4 Responses to For this Time Being — thoughts inspired by Auden

  1. dabar96 says:

    Yes, this is the ordinary feel of our extraordinary lives; those of us who’ve been around the block a few too many times to be captured by wonder so easily. Thank you for reminding us of the holiness of Time and Being!

    • Maren says:

      Sometimes it seems like January is the best time for me to be caught by the star … This actual Epiphany is the first anniversary of my husband’s mother’s death. Both only children, the last fifteen years was defined by caring for elders and this seems to be the year to reflect on it.

  2. Nancy Rockwell says:

    Fine words – a moving photo, too.

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