Every December has its charms and magic, and each year I wonder what the current season will bring.
When I was a child, I waited for the house on Terrace Avenue to turn on its holiday lights. In those days, massive (read vulgar) outdoor light displays were rare (people might place electric candles in the window or outline their doors) and when the people in that house turned on their lights the first week of December, I knew the season was underway.
As I grew older there were other enchantments to be experienced, like the clip-clop of horses' hooves in downtown Madison, the harmonies of carolers on State Street, the different versions of Pachelbel’s Canon that seemed to play in every small shop there.
Moving into my own home brought its own pleasures: the smell of woodsmoke at night, the comings and goings as we shopped for Christmas gifts. One year a Northern cardinal serenaded me as I prepared snacks for Christmas Eve. Another Christmas morning I looked out to see a flock of Cedar waxwings in the crabapple tree. Still another time I caught a glimpse of a white cloud of trumpeter swans undulating across the sky.
Then there was the year of the fox. My little hill is always criss-crossed with the tracks of rabbit, squirrel and the occasional deer or stray dog. But three years ago, a different set of tracks appeared. Then two days before Christmas, I looked out to see a fox cross the yard. There were other sightings, too, and I wondered if I would encounter the creature as I trudged up the hill from the horse barn some night.
I do not know what creature made the tracks under the cedar trees. The snow was deep that day and the footprints were not easily distinguishable.
Each season is different with its own moments of beauty. I have not yet found this year’s moment.
But I did find some beautiful photos from Bea at La Tartine Gourmand. With nearly every post, Bea delights her readers, but this time she has outdone herself.