All the light

Corn and candle

Their barn


Milky Way


The light



The weather reports were iffy, with predictions of rain and thunderstorms, but when we woke in the morning and looked out that huge hotel window things looked promising. There were bands of clouds, to be sure, but streaks of blue and the river 19 floors down shimmered.

Luck held. The day turned glorious with soft meringue-white clouds riding the September breeze. The nip in the air was gentled by a brilliant slanting sun.

The property was scrubbed til it shone. You could see the effort and love of preparation in every detail: the freshly mown lawn, the neatly organized corn field, the taut white tent. They had power washed (power washed!) the old barn. M and I remarked we had never seen a barn so free of dust, cobwebs, mice-made piles of hay.

A milky way of white cloth draped the rafters. The sun slid through the barn walls like a quiet guest. The one you want to stand next to because of the glowing happiness you feel just being near him.

And then the couple, of course they glowed. How could they not? They had each other in that moment, and the sunlight and the spotless barn, and their families and friends and the violin in the corner and the waxing moon transiting quietly above.

And then the fairy lights and the tea lights set in cups of unpopped popcorn and the DJ’s dance lights streaking like colored meteors on the tent ceiling and generations all together on the dance floor making their own vivid glow.

And over all the stars and moon, the Pleiades peeking just over the horizon, knowing their time of white was coming soon.

You have a month like this, of crazy travel, airport security lines, ironing linen in hotel rooms, wearing new shoes, dancing in spite of yourself, wishing the best of love and luck to the couples who are already luckier than shiny coins. You have a month of this and you are changed a little. There’s a nugget of sunlight in your belly that keeps on glowing and will not dim.

Wasn’t it swell?






You start as a ping in pond. A pebble pulsing out perfect ripple after ripple after diminishing ripple.

Moments later your ripple meets another, and, if you’re lucky, it meets another two or three gliding out in sympathetic pulses to the edge of the unknown world. You dance ringlets around each other for a few years, colliding in tears or laughs, sliding away, colliding again.

Later the pond turns to splash, spit, dive. Showoffs, pushing and shouting. Horseplay and running.

Years pass and the surface is a mess with whitecaps. It’s stormy but you’ve learned to ride it out. Good days and weeks, you tuck yourself under a curl and surf with grace. Even better days you toss with the swells and it doesn’t bother you.

One night you pause, and you see the pattern for what it is: hundreds of wavelets, criss-crossing each other in every direction, inscribing a singular pattern: your life, your family, their lives, the saxophone player’s life, the horse’s life, the bartender’s life. The next minute, the next beat, the next and the next.

And then you all get up to dance.

52 Weeks ~ Family (49/52) and Fire (51/52)

RSiegel_Week49 - Cohen Menorah

RSiegel_Week51 - Wind and wick

I wanted to write
about the great grandmother
who bought the menorah
(in Poland perhaps?)
whose face I never knew
about the grandmother
who loved us with a wide heart
and kept the menorah hidden
among other silvery things
in the china cabinet
so we never saw it there
about the mother
who, when cleaning out
her parents’ home,
claimed the menorah,
to keep it in the family
about the daughter
who feels the reverberations
of generations in the
solidness of it,
though has no memory of it
about the grand daughter
who places the candles in it
and says the blessing
while she lights it
lights the candle
lights the fire
and will remember