Thursday, December 1, 2011

sweet december

be tender with me, month of mine.

every year you come around and i think about birthday dinners at shakey's pizza or happy steak and then homemade cake at the house. i can see the angelfood cake on the kitchen counter turned upside down on a coke bottle to loosen it from the pan.  i liked to lick the strawberry frosting off the candles after the singing, the wishing, the blowing.

wood fires.
mexican cocoa.
unwrapping a homemade tamale.
the tink-tink-tink of the christmas lights knocking together as dad climbed the ladder to the roof.
the good-natured swearing under his breath.
i held on to the bottom of the ladder to make sure he was safe.
the pink-red camillias that bloomed in the backyard.
pomegranates split open on the tree, ready for devouring.
the whir of the heaters in the almond groves.
barbie and skipper stopping by the nativity to pay their respects.
paul anka on the turntable.

remember when we would pile in the car with thermoses of chocolate to drive around and look at the lights?  i always fell asleep in the backseat to the soft sound of mom and dad talking about their own childhoods. 

remember that time when i was twelve and wished i was invisible?  you conjured up fog for days, so thick that it devoured the valley and i safely disappeared from sight.

thank you for that.

just like me you have a raw edge and a bit of an unexpected bite, while at the same time your capacity for story, wishes, comfort and imagination feels limitless.

every year you come around with the best gifts.  these memories of you and i playing quietly together, dreaming and becoming the brightest among december girls.