“God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December.” – J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan creator
“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveller back to his own fireside and quiet home!” – Charles Dickens.
“Christmas is a time of little time. How we get there is a mystery. Racing madly mall to mall, we climb into fields of sunlight harmony. Shopping, cooking, and clearing walks and yards. Trimming house and tree, while working, too; making phone calls, wrapping, writing cards. As all worn out we do what we must do. So that this day of joy might joy renew.” – Nicholas Gordon, American poet
December is the twelfth and final month of the Julian and Gregorian calendars, and the month of the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. It is one of 7 months with 31 days. From the Latin decem meaning ten, December was the tenth month of the oldest Roman calendar. The Latin name is derived from Decima, the middle Goddess of the Three Fates who personifies the present. December’s birthstones are the turquoise, zircon, and tanzanite, The narcissus, often considered the daffodil, is its birth flower, but most accurately refers to the miniature white holiday blooms known as paperwhites. In the Western world December is strongly associated with Christmas.
If the name December embodies the present, it seems that every year we become more eager to hasten headlong into the future. At the beginning of October when signing my books at the South Edmonton Common Indigo, I was amazed to notice a display of Christmas cards and tree decorations. I clearly remember not so many years ago when most stores waited at least until a specific calendar event had passed before starting the hoopla for the next one. I believe this premature decor of December, rather than building our anticipation for the most joyous season of the year, instead propels us into the malls and a flurry of shopping. I actively market my trilogy, so I can appreciate the need for promotion and sales; however, the more I age, the less I enjoy the hustle and bustle, the impatience, and the avarice that surround the celebration of Christ’s birth.
To be honest, I far prefer to embark upon invigorating nature hikes when often that first line of Max Ehrmann’s 1927 poignant Desiderata resonates: “Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.” It could be argued that an author would quite naturally seek solitude since most writing requires reclusion. And I believe my aspiring to be a storyteller has come to pass; many readers have said my books have taken them right to the scene, back to the turn of the last century, in the field with Gustav breaking the prairie sod, seeking solace with Amelia in her garden, or eating at her table.
Whenever I write, I disappear into a solitary place, alone but seldom lonely, as my muse takes me to the next scene in which I see and hear my characters, and then when I am with them in body, mind, and spirit, I can proceed to tell their story. Recently I came across a passage in Nina George’s magical book, The Little Paris Bookshop – “She spoke differently, but that was always the case: the way an author wrote was the true sound of her heart and soul.”
I speak now from the depth of my heart and soul: Thank you to all my readers for making my trilogy a success. I wish you and yours the wonder, the peace, the love, and the joy of Christmas.