This morning, while doing a whirl wind trip through my reader in vain attempt to pretend like I can keep up here with my community Lo and Behold – I find myself exploring the poems of Thomas Hardy, thanks to Interesting Literature’s “10 Classic Thomas Hardy Poems Everyone Should Read.”
I was especially taken with “The Oxen“.
Simply because, many aeons ago, when I was a small child, and family had gathered at our house for Christmas, Dad told all assembled that at midnight, on Christmas Eve, the animals talk.
He tried to persuade the adults still up and about (apparently, the fact they were still awake didn’t keep Santa from appearing…) they really ought to bundle up and venture forth to the corral/shed area, so as not to miss such a grand event.
Alas, no one took him up on it.
I have thought back through my mind – I have no specific memory of my own of that event, so either I was younger than 3 or perhaps I had dutifully gone to sleep, so Santa could arrive.
But I know it well, because it’s a story Mom shares often when Christmas time rolls around- now that Dad isn’t around to correct her version of it – which includes the side-note observation she suspects perhaps a few too many trips had been made to retrieve whistle-wetters from the beer coolers sunk in snowbanks outside –
And I dutifully chime in and add, for anyone who might not know, Dad had long ago figured out ways to solve the beer-cooling problem caused by Mom’s tendency to fill the refrigerator with enough food to feed Napoleon’s army, in addition to the expected number of guests arriving.
But now, thanks to Interesting Literature’s share – I can just about bet somewhere, sometime, Dad came across The Oxen, by Thomas Hardy – AND I still believe he, through his own spiritual journey, love of ole-timer tales, country/folk lore, had weaved together all that he knew to be true, because myth is more potent than history, to share with those he loved.
Because of him and his mother, I learned early and well, the best way to keep my connection to the divine clear and strong, was to view the world with eyes and wonder of a child – no matter how old I became.
And so, you’ll know where to find me come midnight next Christmas Eve…
(…just as soon as I find a neighbor, with a barn/shed/corral/livestock, who won’t mind my sitting out there in the wee hours of the night – I’ve tried it with Oakley – no go, not sure if I need to build a barn, or if she was just speechless over the fact I might actually listen AND understand her better…)
You’re welcome to join me – – 🙂
Featured image of Hereford bull
(Hereford’s were Dad’s choice of cattle to have on place – though we did once have a huge, mean Blank Angus bull, that tried ramming the lil’ blue VW bug Mom and I were riding in during a flanking operation to get the cussed thing back into the proper field…where was I?)
Oh, yes, Featured image courtesy of Papapishu at OpenClipart.Org.