Marie-France's gorgeous painting, "Joyeux Noël", which celebrates the advent of Christmas and New Year for 2011-2012, was the inspiration for this work. This poem invites the reader to visit a house from centuries ago, possibly around the Elizabethan era. It appears deserted and left exposed to the cold elements of nature. Inside, it has been lifeless for years. The only source of movement is the shadows and cobwebs. Yet, on the door, there is a brass plate, part of a door knocker. Like a mirror reflecting the spectral figures who rise inside the home, it reveals the ancestral spirit of Yuletide. A mother holding her child evokes thoughts, memories and traditiions dating back to the 16th Century. The warm generosiy of table and hearth beckoned both stranger and friend then; and now beckons the observer with a hypnoitc suggestion at twilight. And beyond that, the timeless urge (of the holiday) to gather and share love, to renew hope and release despair.
© 2012, Wendy Howe.