On a drive to shop, a week before Christmas

I am grateful for the snowflakes
tumbling from the sky this raw, icy morn,
soon to be the first day of winter.
The flakes came, carried in a fog that refused to lift its veil,
forbidding entry of my human gaze
upon the crystal vapors.
The misty bride guarded her gentle bounty
cloaking the simple snow drops
within the rolling cloud,
enveloping the paths, the trees, all life. 
We plowed through the brume
as renegade flakes escaped the encampment,
ones with gelid backbones
that splattered against the windshield
only to be melted into momentary rivulets
tearing down the window until dried by
the warm expiration of our transport,
leaving but dusky points to be washed
away by the blue winter liquid,
giving clarity and erasing
the sterling flakes from the memory of eternity.
And as we continued our journey,
the fog conceded, released its grip, and
all the flakes with delicate arms and legs,
danced together, a caracole to the ground,
to lay one on top of the other
knitting a blanket so tightly woven
that spinning wheels, fishtails, and quickened heartbeats
completed the tango of the season on the return home.
Looking out my December window
her gray white sky faded into snowy roofs
fashioning an ashen field where trees, bare limbed,
write their names without aid of summer leaves
whispering the correct spelling,
only bony tendrils staying their place till the return of spring.
The fading light of the afternoon
calls the alabaster backdrop to rest,
but this joyous season has its own proposal.
The monotones are tickled by Christmas lights
popping on one after another as the shoppers and workers
return to their dens from the days industry.
Bright red and green balls sparkle as the light
imprisoned inside the Lucite globes
light the path for the neighbor
crossing the street to open the little metal box
holding a letter from his love,
or the doctor bill demanding payment
for an illness not healed.
There are no bicycles trailing with laughter
this frigid and late afternoon.
Only snow covering ice,
ice refusing to melt and hidden in readiness
to play its joke on the unsuspecting neighbor
carrying the letter back up the driveway
and disappearing into the cavernous opening.
Bremen sleeps, content on the rug
placed ever so smartly,
giving the perfect perch for observation
as we three go about the end of our day,
each to our own patterns and beats.
He rests assured, his job
keeping us safe as each of us alights to complete
the daily chore, wrap another present, and
snooze away the bitterness of the first seasonal cold.
Soon the heady spiced breath of the pot roast
rises from the stove gathering us together once again.
We light the candles,
all four this last week before Christmas,
the Advent wreath that has graced my home since childhood.
Not the exact wreath itself, but still four candles burning
in this last week before the birth.
The birth that is meant
to make us rejoice, be thankful,
and glad that we are loved.
But we forget.
He is not just here on that Christmas morning.
We forget He is never gone.
He is here in every snowflake and doggy sigh.
He is here in the biting cold and the neighbor’s noise.
I am grateful for these days spent in quiet and activity.
I am grateful for this house where lights of the season sparkle
and window shades open to the falling snow
and the peaceful final hush of the night settling in.
I am grateful for the love of my boys.
One who says a rosary for me every day.
One who wags his tail with even just a hint of my presence.
And the last who fills my soul with joy at every turn.
I cannot want for more.
I thank you, God, for my blessings.
They come in the silence of the night as Venus winks at me.
They come in the flowers of my garden,
even in winter with snow and dried leaves
and berries waiting for the birds.
They come in what I am setting free.
I am lightening my load, letting go,
going further down the road with less.
And I am grateful You are here with me 
in every moment of the journey.
Author’s Note:
This began as part of my daily writing today. Thanks to the 750 Words website, I am pushing myself to write 750 words every day even though I don’t have a specific project attached to this, except for the 50,000 word novel that I just wrote and am attempting to re-write and ignoring at the moment. (sigh) 
I am working towards letting go of the negatives in my life. Anything that drags me down, be it a physical thing or emotional or a relationship, I am learning how to let it go.  This morning’s 750 Word piece started as a blurting but turned into a poem as I went to edit and re-write it this evening. I’ve been reading some personal manifestos of some bloggers and I am very interested in writing one for myself. This piece may be a beginning of that journey for me.
In any case, I love that this turned into a Christmas prayer of sorts. I guess we all have our own way of praying and thanking God. I need to remember that.


Tonight’s prompt from Take Ten for Writers:
#62- page 133 – ReaderShip
Keeping your readership in mind, they will determine your choice of things like vocabulary, length, and tone.
Start with a boat prompt. (I chose “The boat…”) And #3 gave me my audience: teenage girls.
This is not my favorite type of lit nor audience. However, it was fun to write! We wrote for 30 minutes.
Toots by Lexanne Leonard
The boat rocked back and forth with the waves. The stars were beginning to pop out in the early evening sky and the wind caressed Cloe’s face gently as she stood barefoot in the sand.  She had taken off her sandals as she rushed down the steps from the parking area to the beach, dropping each one as she pulled it off her foot. She ran as fast as the deep sand would allow her feet to move, pulling them deeper into its soft grip as if it was taunting her, reminding her that she may have waited just a bit too long to reply to Sam’s text.
She did.
There she was, alone, dressed in the perfect tee and shorts with just the right amount of blush and gloss, and a touch of the rose perfume Sam said reminded him of the most beautiful flower in the world, her. Chloe tried to convince herself, remind herself it was because of his stupid actions that she didn’t return his text.
Wasn’t it he who decided to take Julie to lunch instead of meeting her for coffee? Wasn’t it he who attempted to explain that he needed to tell Julie, for the final time, that they were through? Wasn’t it he who she saw kissing Julie goodbye at Julie’s car behind the coffee shop and then tried to explain that it was the last kiss and he just had to do it?
So why was she here? She wasn’t about to accept all of his lies, again. Hadn’t she had learned her lesson?
As she watched the boat bob up and down in a calming rhythmic pattern, Chloe realized that this was a boat she had never seen before. The name “Toots” was painted on the side, but faded from the sun and salt water. The paddles were painted a deep green. The bottom of the boat was a bright yellow but heavily scratched and the wooden planks that passed for seats were a crackling, peeling pastel pink.  
“Wow, Toots has some work to do on this thing,” she whispered to herself.
“I agree,” replied a deep, velvety voice from behind her.
Chloe wasn’t usually jumpy, but this whole thing with Sam was so annoying, it pulled her off her guard.
“Oh,” she squeaked and turned with a jump landing on the edge of her foot and falling, not so gracefully, into the sand.
“Here, let me help you up,” he continued with two gentle hands. Long slender fingers with perfectly filed nails reached towards her.
As she looked up trying to be nonchalant and in control, she felt herself melting further back into the sand. Her mouth hanging open, Chloe was unable to speak. In front of her was Mark, the lead singer of the band at last night’s party. He was just as gorgeous here as he was on stage with the lights and the sweat with the top three buttons of his shirt open. His eyes were sparkling in the moon’s light and Chloe could just make out that they were a deep green. She almost laughed as she compared his eye color to the paddles in the boat, but stopped herself as he lifted her up with both hands.
“I sorry to have startled you. Do you like Toots?” Mark’s slight but charming laugh opened his smile to a perfect row of white teeth.
“Uh,” was all Chloe could muster.
Should she respond to his apology? Or to the boat’s silly name? Or to the fact that he was tall and beautiful and incredibly hot? 
It didn’t matter. All that she could force out of her mouth was another raspy, “Uh.”