Voices at the door

Doorway in Mykonos, May 2008

A doorway in Mykonos, Greece, May 2008.

“I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door” 

J.R.R. Tolkien

One year ago today

January beckons


  1. merry

    Julia, Happy New Year!

    • The same to you, Merry! I hope we have lots of happy thoughts to share in 2014.

  2. HarryS

    Beginning this new year is kind of like the experience of beginning each and every one of Life’s experiences.

    And also comes to mind that a friendly higher power of mine promises to make all things new.
    So everything is new!
    Every day is new!

    Quite often when I am driving down the highway as dawn is breaking I break out in song;
    “Morning Has Broken
    Blackbird Has Spoken
    Like the First Morning
    Of the First Day …………………” 🙂

    A miracle is thought of as being something that occurs beyond the natural order of things and for me the natural order of things prior to January 23, 1987 was moral and spiritual degradation to the point of disintegration under the powerful effect of desperate drinking.
    God let me have all of this that I could stand and I woke with a very clear thought in my head; ‘this just doesn’t seem like it’s working out’.

    I was led step by step into a community of recovery and since then everything is new.

    There is another old song;
    “God bless you, you make me feel brand-new………………..” 🙂

    So Happy New Year to all of us. 🙂

    • Harry, I love both the songs you mention. The last verse of “Morning Has Broken” (at least in the Cat Stevens version) is especially appropriate for a New Year’s Day:
      “Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
      born of the one Light Eden saw play
      Praise with elation! Praise every morning,
      God’s re-creation of the new day.”

      Thanks so much for reminding me of this lovely song; I very much enjoyed listening to it again today at the link I included above. Cat Stevens’ music was a huge part of my youth, and I still love all the albums I have of his exquisite music.

      Thanks also for sharing with us about your personal recovery. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have at least one dearly loved friend or family member who has struggled with the “moral and spiritual degradation” that comes of addiction to alcohol or other substances. I am so thankful for those who speak out boldly about their own journeys to recovery, and for those who walk alongside them to help and encourage. My beloved friend Renee (Hi Nay Nay!) is currently going back to school to get a degree in the field of counseling for substance abuse. She’s taught Bible-based recovery classes to incarcerated women for years, and is a natural for helping people overcome any sort of challenge. She lost her son when he was about the same age as Matt is now, after years of care-taking, and has shown me how to survive and thrive despite many obstacles. May God bless all of us in this New Year, as we seek to encourage each other to higher ground! Thanks so much for being here.

  3. Ann

    May your new year be filled joy !

    Thank you for your continued blog.

    • Thank you, Ann! I appreciate your continued presence here.

  4. Oh, I love this. I’d forgotten this one. What a beautiful poem for New Year’s Day. Be blessed!

    • I don’t remember reading it before, but perhaps it means more now that I’m older. So much food for thought there. Tolkien and Lewis changed the world for so many of us. Thanks for being here, and I hope you have a wonderful New Year full of blessings!

  5. Sheila

    Julia, Happy New Year to you and your entire family. I, too, am so glad you have continued your blog and enjoy the addition of “One Year Ago Today”. Many blessings my friend! 🙂 Sheila

    • 🙂 Thank you, Sheila! 🙂

  6. Raynard

    Julia I can still remember flying to Hawaii and Germany .Why does the first one I mentioned still reminds me of that old Chanel number 5 perfume commercial ? The one that talks about blue skies. Don’t get me started about that tidy bowl commercial lol. I must be slowing down cause I stayed in the bed most of the day with a snuggie on and now I just polished my boots for work.Winter storm expected as I get off work tomorrow keep us in your prayers.This was the first New Year’s Eve that I didn’t watch the ball drop in Times Square.Psst Don’t tell or the next time I go back there I’ll have to change the words to Little Richard’s song Tootie Fruitty to “Snooty Snooty Oh Rudy lol Be blessed

    • Raynard, I can remember that Chanel commercial; it was certainly striking. The tidy bowl one escapes me right now, not surprisingly. 🙂 . Sounds like you spent the day much as we did – loving every minute. I do pray you do not get hit with nasty weather tonight. We didn’t watch the ball drop either, although we did make it to midnight when Jeff and I had a sparkling grape juice toast to a better year in 2014. Don’t worry, I won’t tell on you but I don’t think anyone could ever call you snooty! Happy New Year!!

  7. That’s a nice verse and somewhat familiar in beat to my own ditty’s. 😉 Hence I may be a wee bit bias. Cheeky of me to align my mortal dalliances in verse with Tolkien hey? I love this part, “in every wood and every spring there is a different green”.

    • Actually, I don’t think it’s cheeky at all! I much prefer rhymed verse to the free verse that has all but taken over the snootier literary magazines. Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson (and Tolkien and many others) understood that it is helpful to build thoughts on a metered structure. I also find it sticks in my mind more readily. So rhyme on! 🙂 I loved that line about the different green, too!

  8. Oh PS, I would love to spend time at that beautiful destination I can’t wait to paint something that colour. I don’t know if I could talk Mr B into the front door but oh something.

    • Mykonos was gorgeous with color. White buildings everywhere, with bright accents, splendid flowers and the beautiful blue sea. Unlike any place I have ever seen. Photos of Santorini are similarly dazzling; I hope I can go there someday.

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