Men and Merry Music Making

For so many (including myself) there’s something very hopeful and centering about the song, O Holy Night. As a little girl I was asked to sing the song in church. As an adult, it still touches my heart and, with a little bit of faith, helps me see the world as it could be.

I know I’m not the only one who loves this song, and so many folks have sung it over the years. I looked for the version that most spoke to me. Maybe it’s the harmonies or the classical roots, but Il Divo’s version was my choice (of course it could also be the yummy men). Do you have a favorite version of this song? Who sings it?

Silent Night/Stille Nacht

If you guys remember the songs and story I shared with you about the Cease Fire on Christmas back in the first World War, you know that Silent Night, or Stille Nacht (in German), played a huge part in the beginning of that temporary truce.

Having said that, Stille Nacht was also my grandfather’s favorite Christmas song, so I thought I’d share it…the way we used to sing it for him…but with the angelic voices of the St. Thomas Boys Choir.

Do you have a favorite holiday song in another language? Tell me how that came to be….

Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men (and Women)

My dear friend Professor Taboo wrote a wonderful tribute to Christmas and peace during the First World War. If you’ve never heard the story and you want to feel the warmth of love during some of the hardest times the world had, click the link. It’s a beautiful story. In fact, the story inspired two of my favorite balladiers, Collin Raye and Garth Brooks, to make two very separate, very beautiful songs that do a fabulous job reminding us about what’s important.

The above is Garth Brooks’ song, “Belleau Wood”. The below is “It Could Happen Again” by Collin Raye with Johnny Cash narrating.

Isn’t it beautiful how a holiday and a familiar song built a bridge to understanding and a cease fire? I actually have both CDs in my collection because they’re wonderful! What are your favorite Christmas albums? Do you have holiday songs that speak peace to your heart?

Maiden Voyage

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Listening to
Graceful crash
Of lightly, rippling
Waves.
Glass shatters
Across the hull,
Rivulets
Of bubbling gold
Gliding down.
Step ‘board
My wooden chariot,
Opaque sheets
Spread upward,
Angled high
Against the beautiful
Backdrop;
Cerulean sky.
Enjoy
The peaceful lull;
Curving to and fro.
I plan
A quest to find “me”…
Parchment guides
Etched by explorers
Past.
Rolled out,
Determined,
To plot my course.
Gazing blindly,
I try,
Pencil to paper,
To render my path.
Eyes unseeing,
I turn away,
Look out into
The unending
Deep blue,
And realize
I was never
Missing.

Friday, I went to Selby Botanical Gardens with my mom and a good friend in need of a distraction. Placed along the Gulf of Mexico, I found myself looking out at the water and daydreaming. The above picture is one of many I took that day. Here are a couple more.

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Here is one of a bonsai tree…I imagined fairies frolicking beneath those beautifully sculpted branches.

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Here is an image of only one of the exotic beauties we saw that day.

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My friend playing bird whisperer…a great way to distract him from his troubles. And finally, below is the souvenir dwarf pineapple plant I took home. Isn’t it gorgeous? Where do you find your peace & beauty?

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Awakening

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Gazing out,
Ball of fire
Climbs slowly
Up a wall
Of misty blues
And breathy pink.
Chilled air
Flirts…
A gentle graze
On bared flesh.
Silent stillness,
World on pause,
A moment
For deep breaths
And reflection.
A tuneless song
Trills out
From mothers nesting
In strong arms,
Of swaying branches…
Nature’s rocking chair.
Whistle floats up
As leaves chatter.
Orange sun
Shifts to yellow,
Burning up
The gentle fog,
Revealing…
A bright,
Shimmering
New day.

Man Versus Nature

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Dark blue ripples
Blustering forward,
Bubble to cresting foam
Lead to grainy gray
Dusted with cracks
Of color
Coral and white.
Footprints indent
Moving surface
Leaving a single message.
“I was here.”
But wind whistles forward,
Powerfully unseen.
Sweeps across
The specks of sand
Carelessly
Wipes it clean.
Perversely, it whispers,
“Were you?”

Today was the rehearsal for my friend’s wedding. I sat on a bench on the beach waiting for the rest of the wedding party to arrive. I contemplated how beautiful nature could be as I watched the waves roll in. As I noticed the shoe and footprints in the sand, I started thinking about the marks we leave and the raw power nature has…and the above poem was born.

Living in Florida, people assume we get to enjoy the beach all the time. Nothing could be further from the truth. We usually have jobs and get too busy to enjoy the natural beauty around us. In fact, it’s been about 5 years since I’d been to the beach. While we rehearsed, I got to enjoy one of nature’s most beautiful gifts. A Florida sunset. I need to get to the beach more often. It inspires and rejuvenates.

Hope you enjoy my sunset…

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