Thursday, December 22, 2022

Poetry Friday: A Different Advent and a Birdbath by the Nile

Happy Poetry Friday! I haven't participated all that much this year, but I'm on break from school, so I thought I'd jump in today. (Actually, I just checked, and I've posted 28 Poetry Friday posts in 2022, so just over half the Fridays. Not too bad!)

This has been a different year, and so it's fitting that it's been a different Advent. This is our first Advent completely out of Haiti since 2000, our first Christmas season without either of our kids being with us, our first December in Uganda (so...much...rain!). A friend who was traveling for our school break brought over her tree and some other Christmas decorations on her way to the airport, so we have some festive cheer in our apartment. We made a list of adventures to experience in Kampala and nearby, and we've been checking them off every day. It's been very fun, but also a little melancholy.

Last weekend, we had the opportunity to go with some new friends to an incredible house right on the bank of the Nile River. My husband rode his bike there (101 kilometers, 62 miles), I birded constantly and took pictures of a vervet monkey on our balcony, and we all went out on Saturday night to watch Croatia play Morocco while we ate dinner. I decided to share three of my photos from the weekend today, along with some haiku.

Find some privacy
away from fish and herons,
bathe here in peace.


©Ruth Bowen Hersey

Shadow, reflection,
suggestions of leaves above,
peace before the splash.


©Ruth Bowen Hersey

An upturned blossom,
fragrant in yellow and white,
floats in morning peace


©Ruth Bowen Hersey

The incomparable Irene has the roundup today, as well as a feast of other delights!

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Reading Update

Book #69 of the year was The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles. While I didn't love this as much as Towles' book A Gentleman in Moscow, which I read twice in 2018, it was a rollicking read. 

Book #70 was The Marriage Portrait, by Maggie O'Farrell. This is a historical novel about Lucrezia de'Medici, the duchess in Browning's poem "My Last Duchess." All of O'Farrell's books I've read have been good, and I enjoyed this one, too.

Book #71 was When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead, the winner of the Newbery Medal in 2010. I hadn't read it before, and I liked it. I'm not sure how I had gone so long without reading it!

Book #72 was No et Moi, by Delphine de Vigan. I thought this book, the story of a precocious teenager's relationship with a homeless woman in Paris, was well worth reading. 

Book #73 was Sankofa, by Chibundu Onuzo. It's the story of a mixed-race British woman, Anna, who grew up without a father. When she finds a journal in her mother's things, she starts to learn more and more, until she has to go find the man himself.


Book #74 was Everything Sad is Untrue, Daniel Nayeri's story of being a refugee from Iran. This really was a special, unexpected book. I couldn't put it down.