poetry and prose about place

in the circle of the evergreen wreath

with 8 comments

Every year, during Advent, I either purchase or make a wreath of evergreens to celebrate the coming of Christmas.  Last year, making the wreath, I had a little help.  Zoë decided the perfect place to perch herself was within the circle of the wreath.

Our wreath materials were all obtained on our lake property.  The species we used for our wreath were:

  • White Pine (Pinus Strobus L.)
  • White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.)  also known as Arbor Vitae
  • Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.)
  • Common Juniper (Juniperus communis L.)  -the variety we used was too prickly and I won’t use it again.


At this time of Advent, we wait in the darkest days of the year for Christmas.  The wreath is one of the most endearing symbols of this wait.  Made of evergreens, it speaks to the concept of everlasting love.  To count down the Sundays before Christmas, we light purple and pink candles to symbolize ideas of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.   The lighted candles also represent bringing light into the world.

The wreath is another of those symbols borrowed from pagan times, when the circle represented the ever-changing seasons and the circle of life.  The evergreen stood for the part of life that survives the winter season and  candles symbolized light shining through darkness.



gathering green


in the space between solstice

and the whisper of stars

in a herded sky

daylight shrinks, always one hour

short of rested


in the thicket we gather

armloads, garlands of green

fragrances of cedar and pine

red dogwood twigs

stems of red berry, alder cones

curved boughs of fir


flexible as mattress coils, piled on ground

to rest, await brief

overlap, longest night

and feathering of angel down


watch, through the trees

the struggle

planet light

and pagan fire



© Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

December 5, 2012 at 7:05 am

8 Responses

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  1. I searched for Zoë on your blog to see what she looks likes – what a sweetheart, sitting pretty in the circle of evergreens! And I love your poem – the whisper of stars – I’ve heard it, too…


    Barbara Rodgers

    January 16, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    • Hi. She’s our best cat ever. She is telepathic… sits and stares at me until I can do her bidding!!! Jane


      jane tims

      January 16, 2013 at 7:34 pm

  2. Love the photo of Zoë plunked down in the middle of the wreath. I wonder what it is about cats and circles? Mine will sit in the middle of just about any kind of circle.
    Beautiful poem, Jane.



    December 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    • Hi Robin. Thanks. Zoe loves circles and boxes. Any confined space will do, even if it is only enclosed in her imagination! Jane.


      jane tims

      December 7, 2012 at 6:03 pm

  3. I didn’t know that the wreath is something from Pagan times! Wow. Thanks for enlightening me.



    December 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    • Hi. I think a lot of our symbols are adopted from early times. So many Christmas traditions are based on natural themes (evergreens, fire, berries, logs, stars). I think it is one reason why Christmas is my favorite time of year. Jane


      jane tims

      December 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm

  4. The poem touches my heart and calls up memories of Advents past, of making wreaths with my children and of marking the weeks from darkness to light with the lighting of candles. You write poetry so beautifully. I love the images in the first verse and the last two lines especially.


    Carol Steel

    December 5, 2012 at 8:38 am

    • Hi Carol. Thanks for the specific comments. It is good to know what ‘works’. I want to add some variety to my posts while I write my novel… it is easy to get caught up in details. So, my aim is one Christmassy post per week. Jane


      jane tims

      December 5, 2012 at 9:13 am

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