Winter’s Blooming

It’s been a while since I joined in at D’Verse, but seeing the prompt, I couldn’t resist. D’Verse prompted us to write haibuns with the theme of ‘celebration’.

Christmas in New Zealand is quite different than here in the Netherlands. My family celebration back home was marked by things like a BBQ lunch, swimming at the beach, a family game of cricket or touch rugby and lots of summery and creamy desserts – all after our family Christmas service at church.

My husband and I got into the tradition of doing Christmas in New Zealand (with my parents and siblings and their families) every year with our girls. That is, until the girls’ Dutch school made that too difficult for us (not giving us permission to take enough extra leave) and then two-week-long hotel corona quarantaines upon entry in NZ making it impossible. It’s been more than four years now since we’ve been “home”, but I am so thankful for the gift of video calling together across the oceans. It’s not the same, but it is such a sweet comfort.

As I looked out at our backyard today, reflecting on the prompt of celebration, I noticed our blossoming tree. Yes, strangely during the darkest and most dismal winter season of the year, our tree loves to show off fresh pastel flowers. These blossoms bring bright light and color to an otherwise dying world surrounding them.

It reminded me how in the darkest and most dismal times of our life, the light of love in fact also shines the brightest. This light doesn’t take away the hard we walk through, but it does soften and warm our hardening hearts through the cold, joining us together in love, even ocean’s apart and into eternity. In the twinkling of the stars through the darkest of nights, I often think of those, like my Mum, who have gone before us, and I find such sweet comfort in the Promise:


We have a bright tree

It’s blooming through cold wintry

Gales and darkened skies.

New to Haibun? Write a paragraph or more of prose, or prose poetry, then follow it with a haiku—one that includes a season word, and juxtaposes two disparate images that, when paired, give us that “aha!” experience.

Eternally Glowing

Eternally Glowing – the poem below – is my take on d’Verse’s Quadrille challenge.

The Quadrille is simply a poem of 44 words (excluding the title), and it can take any form. This week’s challenge was to use the word “tinsel” in a Quadrille.

Eternally Glowing

Tinsel on the tree
"It's time
For a cuppa!"
She'd say.

I cannot forget
Not so much the tree
My Dad chopped

Not the trimming's
Frail sheen
The gifts
'neath the tree.

But Mum's
Golden sheen
The gift of love now
Eternally glowing.
Mum, Christmas 2013
(our last Christmas together)