Emily Dickinson Homestead (yellow painted brick) and Evergreens, home of the poet's brother and family, linked by a woodsy path "wide enough for two who love."

Emily Dickinson Homestead (yellow painted brick) and Evergreens, home of the poet’s brother and family, linked by a woodsy path “wide enough for two who love.”

As Sleigh Bells seem in Summer
Or Bees, at Christmas show –
So fairy – so fictitious –
The individuals do
Repealed from Observation –
A Party that we knew –
More distant in an instant
Than Dawn in Timbuctoo –

The sorcery embedded in human consciousness requires of our earthbound experience that we most appreciate what we had after it is lost. This philosophy of observation by Emily Dickinson is the focus of meditation in “As Sleigh Bells seem in Summer”.

On this Christmas Day, the poem is a reminder that we cannot any of us escape this truth: Sleigh bells, Christmas and parties and individuals are never more idealized than when we are furthest away from them. 

Absence smoothes out all the imperfections and blemishes. In summer, winter’s bitter wind, dangerously low temperatures, blocked transportation routes and frigid isolation indoors are forgotten in the memory of gliding between snowdrifts bundled next to a loved one in a horse-drawn sleigh. When part of a prosperous family in the 19th century.

The sting of an angry bee, “at Christmas show” the insect to be as a fiction, “So fairy”.

“A Party that we knew — ”, as well as its beloved participants, are “More distant in an instant” than is imaginable when they are “Repealed From Observation”

In the 19th century, Africa’s remote community, Timbuctoo, which had been the center of trade for salt during the Middle Ages, was the goal of many explorers. Year after year and decade after decade adventurers into the region were either murdered viciously or seemed to disappear without a trace. Not one very brave and mighty expedition team or troubadour  seemed capable of verifying to the world a “Dawn in Timbuctoo”

Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Comes Your Way

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