Holly Flower

Six holly leaves surrounding a pink stem

Petals fall away,
leaving the leaves
to spiral inward
like a rose in
full bloom,
laced with thorns but
with a stem too woody
for easy conquest.
The strawberry center
remembers the tease of bees.
The rain drains away,
leaving a few drops to
glisten like diamonds.
Whoever says winter
has no flowers
hasn’t seen the holly
as I have.

Note: I snapped this photo a few weeks ago before the first snow. I can’t help looking for flowers even in winter. Holly has been incorporated into many belief systems over the centuries. People planted holly as protection against thunder or to ward off witchcraft. The holly flowers in spring, and its four tiny petals form a cross, making it a common symbol for Christianity. It also represents the waning light of the year from Midsummer to Midwinter in the Celtic faith. May it help your imagination flower.

Making Spirits Bright


I hope you are all warm, safe and surrounded by love and magic this holiday season! May all the snow that falls be light, fluffy and shining like diamonds. May your dreams shine like the stars, and your dearest wishes come true. Joy to the World!! Merry Christmas!!

Warmly, Brenda 


Midsummer Stew


“Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild,
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.” – W.B. Yeats

Conla picked early sage in her garden. Her family traditionally made a lamb stew for their midsummer feast. Her mother, Bronwyn, was inside their house braising the lamb with spring onions and chives. Conla heard her neighbor’s voice, and turned to see him walking under their archway with its pink roses and purple clematis.

“I can’t find a thing! My jackets are missing their buttons. My trousers all have holes. My wallet and keys are missing again! Are you doing this to me?!” Conla’s neighbor in the white cottage next door was Seamus O’Flanagan. Their two houses were the only ones for miles in that wild part of County Wicklow. The American had retired and come to the old country to write and paint, in the county of his ancestors. His wispy white hair was standing up in the wind, and his cheeks were red with anger.

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