Winter Light

Winter Light

It is the day before thanksgiving. For too many years, this was a time of great sorrowing – a day on which a young motherless woman said goodbye to her grandmother… a grandmother she couldn’t afford to lose, and later, much later, a grandmother she couldn’t become….

(Lily B helps bring in the dawn…)

This morning I awaken in the pre- dawn to a heavy lidded moon peering in my window… A deep stillness permeates the air – The Earth is a Lady in Waiting. The slow awakening of a late November sun decides it will take two hours to rise, and it is in this space that I give thanks for my favorite time of day. I bathe in the pale blue twilight; clarity heightens clear thinking, while my body opens to shinings. Cardinals arrive, flashing dusky crimson feathers… Around nine a golden eye overcomes night shadows and the house is lit like the brightest candle, the brook mirroring Earth Star’s rising. Chimes begin to ring. My Norfolk pines breathe out life giving oxygen as do the Passionflowers, their vining tendrils curling in spirals, emerald ringlets inching across the window.  My dogs lie on their backs, paws extended, soaking in the sun… I spray my woodland garden with water, moistening its startling red partridgeberries, snowberries, emerald mosses, tiny trees celebrating life.

(reflection from a rising sun)

 Winter Green is made of Gold.

(Norfolk Island Pine)

(mountain view at dawn)

(winter garden in a bowl)

Today or tomorrow I will weave my balsam wreaths into circles of prayer giving thanks for trees, for animals, for life, for winter light, for those capable of love, and for the heat that warms the fire within, animating me like my Star Baby does…

(Star Baby)

I see a circle closing as Grandmother glides through the door. 

Oh, like the Navajo, I walk in Beauty.

This House was built for Winter Light. 

5 thoughts on “Winter Light

  1. I believe you might enjoy reading poems by Gary Snyder if you haven’t already. Here’s what he says about his work: “As a poet, I hold the most archaic values on earth. They go back to the late Paleolithic: the fertility of the soil, the magic of animals, the power-vision in solitude, the terrifying initiation and rebirth; the love and ecstasy of the dance, the common work of the tribe. I try to hold both history and wilderness in mind, that my poems may approach the true measure of things and stand against the unbalance and ignorance of our times.” A kindred spirit, for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. yes, I like his work a lot…. and he does get it – that we are all connected – what seems so sad to me is that so few are able to experience this relationship with all there is…in quiet times like this morning I fall into this space – through nature’s grace. thanks so much1


  3. Hello Sara, I am reaching out to let you know about a spiritual experience I had recently in which I included your brother Dave. I went to Foxlane HS from 1974 to 1977 and was a star runner in Cross Country and track. I used to run past your folks house on my training runs with trepidation and respect, I was also friends with Andy Tow who lived down the block. After HS I got a scholarship to Eastern New Mexico University to run Cross and track, it was the best experience for me at the time and I ran with many great American Indian runners and they welcomed me into there world. One of my great friends was Albert “Birch”Rodriguez a Navaho from Clovis New Mexico who had a light that lit the world around, we were kindred spirits, he was truly a joyous person! After my sophomore year at ENMU I transferred to Pepperdine and concentrated on school and graduating, running was my coping tool, my way of staying out of depression so I kept running with the understanding that it was holding back the darkness. I lost touch with Birch in the 80’s only to find out that he was killed in a rodeo on July 4 1983,a bull horn went through his forehead and killed him instantly. I have always had Birch in my heart with a certain amount of sadness,I could always feel his presence and I do very much believe in the spirit world. The Indians believe if your body is cut into that the spirit may not be able to ascend to the heavens and maybe Birch was somehow trapped in our world. One day coming off a mountain hike I saw an Indian lodge on the bluffs above the pacific ocean in Malibu,it turns out to be a Chumash ceremonial lodge. I wrote the Chumash Wishitoy foundation about doing a ceremony for Birch or some kind of remembrance for his soul, I didn’t hear anything from them for 7 months and then 2 months ago an email came in inviting me to come down on a Saturday morn and they would accommodate me. The moment I finished reading the email the very first thing that rang in my brain was Dave Pottetti, intermittently over the years especially since computers have come into existence I have looked to discover what went down with Dave but to no avail but on this day I found the Farrant book “Somewhere Bluebirds Fly” and the truth and the Indian through line blew me away, I was profoundly sad and of course could relate. The Saturday came and I went down with a picture of my ENMU team with Birch smiling in it, I wrote dave name on the back of the photo and I had Dave in my heart that day as well as Birch. Joseph Lopez lit a large fire and we burned the photo, tobacco and herbs were tossed on it and after a while Joseph sang the Heart song. It was much more than I expected and it was powerful medicine for me, Birch is free now and I don’t feel sad when I think of him, the Chumash believe the spirits ascend to the heavens from Point Conception 40 miles up the coast and I believe the boys went up that days really do. If you have an email I can send you the Heart song as I recorded it that day.I hope this email is not intrusive or insensitive to you as I have only respect. Best Always Tim Silano


    1. Tim,
      I was deeply moved by your experience. As you may know Davey was steeped in Navajo and Yagui mythology and even before that as children we believed we had Indian roots which turned out to be true. I feel in so many ways that I have lived my life for the two of us because he killed himself before learning how to deal with depression. It runs in our family and both of us suffered from it. I believe that Davey was running from his own darkness too…After his death I literally was swallowed by the underworld and became one of the living dead. I was very unhappy with the way Rick portrayed Davey’s depression and death as well as dragging my family into the story. He called me and asked me for some details – stupidly I talked but asked him not to publish some of the info – he did anyway – it was twisted. Davey lived with both the Navajo and the Yagui and adopted many of their ceremonies… gradually as I recovered I did too, although I have never been associated with any tribe directly like you and he were. Davey also spent a lot of time In Chumash country…. I thank you for holding him in your heart like you did. He needed so much help because of the situation in my family… I too believe that the spirit world intersects with ours and that it is possible to tap into that world. It is so important as you know to do ceremoniously – we MUST have a container for this kind of thing… I too have an incredible story around FINALLY burying his ashes here 32 years after his death…My family lied to me – told me his ashes were buried where he built the Hogan but every year I dreamed that he was wandering and couldn’t rest and was calling out to me – its a long story – he was part of me and when he died I lost a part of myself. There is nothing insensitive about what you have written… I am so grateful you told me the story and would like to know more. That you helped before I could is a gift I will treasure. He suffered in between worlds. We must be emotionally present for the dead or they can’t move on. My email is if you want to get in touch with me. I would love to have the Heart song.


  4. This morning after sharing this story with my dearest Pottetti cousin I re -read what you wrote realizing that your ceremony followed my own by many years… not that it matters …. Sending those prayers into the spirit world brings peace to all who participate – both the living and the dead. And I am so glad that my brother lives on in your heart as he does in mine. The silence that permeated my family left me without anyone to share stories of Davey’s extraordinary life until my cousin came back into my life – a gift to Davey and to myself. Again, thank you and please send Heart Song.


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