May to December: A Letter Poem

Dear Celia,

The weather has turned again, with its gray entrenchments.

Every day seems slightly more bitter than the next, with little room for sunlight and warm touches. I keep the shutters closed most days just to keep out the appearance of cold. The warm hearth remains at the center of the house, and I do my best to remain within sight of it.

I can’t believe it has been almost a decade since I last saw you. Time passes so fluidly now that I don’t even realize the change from May to December – except for the pause that is Autumn. That is the time of moving through color, going from green to gray. The gray seems to last longer. It is no wonder we decorate our homes with pine and cedar this time of year. It helps maintain the illusion that time has stopped during moments of growth that seem perpetual. Autumn gives us a different clock. One with an altering view each day – a changing red, a subtle orange or yellow.

I grew tomatoes again over the summer, and contrary to last year’s harvest, this one was quite poor. The temperatures seem cool enough, though rain was lacking during the middle of the year. I did my best to keep the plants watered, and they remained green and grew quite large, but just did not yield much fruit. All of the flowers in the garden seemed to do well, though, providing a beautiful flourish of roses, irises, jonquils, daisies, and tulips at different times.

It is funny (peculiar) that I should remember you most at this time of year. I suppose that it is because the transition part of life provides the most vibrant backdrop. I must now close this letter, and I wish you the best for the coming year. It is likely I’ll revisit these memories again in the future. The demands of life require a sanctuary. I find it comforting, like the hearth, and I do my best to remain within sight of it.

All the best,
John

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