Day 353 of 366 Blog Challenge 2012
This morning Geoff and I wrote up our Christmas cards to post for the season. The heat of summer had finally caught up with us but as the electric fan swayed to and fro, we were at peace in our writing. The tree was lit, soft Christmas music played and then a surprise visitor arrived to share coffee served with Christmas cake and shortbread.
It was indeed a fine way to spend a morning! So, in the spirit of the season, I want to share a poem I wrote at the end of 2011 when our garden was aglow with flowers despite the heat of summer. Rains had come earlier and the grass was lush and green and nature was overjoyed. I wrote this poem at that time.
Today, I present it to you. In the poem I write about a hot Australian Christmas and the life lessons that nature teaches us … such as allowing ourselves to be what God created us to be and not trying to replicate anyone else. Here it is. Enjoy!
A HOT AUSTRALIAN CHRISTMAS
… the Poinciana Tree
There comes a time of year
In our hot Australian summer
When we look to the Poinciana tree
To see red flowers en masse
Five fluted petals
Atop delicate leaves of green
They sit intact all November long
And by Christmas time
They begin descending slowly down.
It is not snow that comes
in our Australian Christmas
But spent Poinciana petals falling to the ground
They lay on the lawn lush and green in a sprinkling of red
They remind us it is time to celebrate
The birth of Jesus: the child who came to us
They are the red and green of an Australian Christmas.
Near the Poinciana tree
Blooms the mock orange bush
Undaunted by the summer heat
Bushes of green covered in white globules, round with delight
Unfurling their curly flowers
In tune with the music of summer.
It is a reminder to keep our hearts pure
at Christmas time
Pure in thought – no judgment
Pure in deed – kind actions
Pure in words – gentle speech
Their sweet perfume lingers in the air
Intoxicating and heady
– to be a sweet fragrance to all
– to enhance lives
Not leave them soiled and putrid
After we have passed them by.
The spent Poinciana flowers fall
And settle on the white curly blossoms
Like a decorated Christmas tree
Of green, white and red
Dramatic and delightful.
The red spray too of the Cigarette plant
Invades the space of the mock orange plant
As if to say: “Here I am!”
Masses of tiny bell-shaped flowers hanging from long fine stems
Cascading and making their presence felt
Almost in competition to the mighty Poinciana tree
– yet they will never take its place –
They lack the power
– the grace
– the beauty
Of the giant Poinciana tree.
Like the Cigarette plant
Some of us possess a ‘little’ beauty
Whilst others, like the Poinciana tree,
stand tall and stately
And dominate the garden
With beauty beyond compare.
Yet, the cascades of the Cigarette plant
Add a dimension to the garden
Their beauty unique and true.
Not everyone can be a Poinciana tree
No, all are not the same
Each of us unique in beauty.
Viewed up close
The Cigarette plant is delicate and pretty
Sitting happily at the feet of the Poinciana
Content to be subservient
And to adorn that mighty tree
For some of us the same is true.
The Christmas garden is a teacher of lessons
For nature comes to us like grace
And compels us to better things
To beauty and purity of heart
To blossom where we are planted
To be ourselves regardless of size or shape
To allow the summer rains to make us lush
And the summer dry to force our roots
deep into the earth
Simply to be what God created us to be
Not trying to replicate someone else.
It reminds us of the season
Of stifling heat not flakes of snow
– our own unique landscape
And most of all it reminds us
To embrace the red and green
Of our hot Australian Christmas
As we herald the birth of the Child who came to us …