Wild Nights: A New Year’s Gift

A New Year’s gift of night skies and poems of joy and hope. Photos labeled “at home” were taken on my hill on the east side of Seneca Lake in the New York Finger Lakes. In 1972, my husband and I bought this land after seeing a sunset here. I’m still watching.

January 2015

January at home

It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.
It could you know. That’s why we wake
and look out–no guarantees
in this life.
But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,
like evening.

“Yes” by William Stafford, The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems © Graywolf Press, 1998.

February Venus-Mars-Moon conjunction at home

February Venus-Mars-Moon conjunction

February in Florida

February in Florida

March at home

March at home

Moonrise in Ithaca April

April moonrise in Ithaca


















Wild Nights – Wild Nights! 

Were I with thee 
Wild Nights should be 
Our luxury!

Sunset at home May

May at home

Futile – the Winds – 
To a Heart in port – 
Done with the Compass – 
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden – 
Ah, the Sea! 
Might I but moor – 
Tonight – With Thee!

~Emily Dickinson
June at home

June at home

Venus-Jupiter conjunction

July Venus-Jupiter conjunction at home

August at home

August at home











…singing the room full of shadows,
as sun and earth and moon
circle one another in their impeccable orbits
and I get more and more cockeyed with gratitude.

~ Billy Collins, “Nine Horses”

September lunar eclipse

September lunar eclipse at home



October at home

October at home







November at home

“And if the world has ceased to hear you,
Say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.” 

~Rainer Maria Rilke, “Sonnets to Orpheus” 

December at home

December at home


Thank you for reading my articles and viewing my photos in 2015. Since my blog went “on the air” in May 2012, you’ve become a cherished part of my life. I’m grateful to walk beside you as we begin a new round of endings and beginnings.

Blessed New Year to You and Yours!


  1. What beautiful, inspiring poetry and night skies images Elaine. I love, love, love how the moon and stars call through the night for us. Others say there are other worlds, I say, yes, and it is ‘this one,’ if only we were to open our eyes, hearts fully to the beauty that we live alongside. Nature, that magnificent mirror who lets us to see our true joyful, loving faces.

    Here at year’s end let me share what a blessing it has been to meet you this year, learn more about what’s behind your insightful, healing words, inspirational book and treasure trove of a website that you have. I love your poetic style of writing! Your words are evocative of the inspiring Marion Woodman herself. There are no words for the day I met Vic, only wide smiles.

    Thank you so much for your excellent book review that you posted at Inner City books during those dark, early days of December. I have fully immersed myself in rereading ‘Descent to the Goddess’ and have greatly enjoyed all your blog post (and my own descent dreams) I encountered during this magic time of Winter Solstice. Blessings always, Deborah.

    • Thank you, Deborah. It is so beautiful on my land. Civilization’s lights are fairly far away, so the moon, planets, and Milky Way are easy to see when there are no clouds. And the sunsets here are magnificent, although not on these low cloud gray December Days.

      It’s been wonderful to meet you, too, in this interesting way we meet and feel deeply connected on social media. Thank you for being an encouraging voice as I move toward more writing about mythology. I have a first draft of a piece about the Mother Archetype. I hope to work on it today and post it next week. I’ll see how it develops.

      I’ve loved reading your poetry and essays and look forward to much more. I smile when you mention Vic. It’s interesting how my book has stimulated interest in his work. He would be grateful. Sending you New Year’s Blessings.

      • The ‘Mother Archetype’ oh how this poet’s ears pricked up!
        For a moment there I felt positively ‘Hare’-like.
        Secretly I’m hoping for your second book next year!
        A thousand blessings and then some, Deborah.

        • Keep hoping and sending out those blessings, Deborah. I hope for a book ready to submit in 2016, but it’s not entirely up to my ego or my will. Muses needed as guides. Today I worked on the blog about The Mother Archetype–a personal story of my a-ha moment with that idea.

  2. Not a word needed for these fotos. Beautiful

  3. Thank you for the pictorial review and clever choice of poetry, Elaine.

    So, it all turned on a sunset. 🙂 The photos are spectacular, especially November, I think because of the birds. Yes, I’m so grateful our paths have crossed. You have become a cherished part of my life too. Happy 2016!

    • Thank you, Marian. It was a good moment for images and few words. I love November, too, taken from my deck on another strangely warm day. We’ve had lots of those warm days. I love sharing my photos. And, yes, everything turned on a sunset. The house was a scary mess of tar paper and boarded windows. While I fretted over the house, Vic was captivated by the land. Then came a walk at sunset that sold me. Both our mother’s wept when they saw the house. Were their kids and grandchild going to live there? We made it beautiful. Still old and not fancy, but people look out the windows at the views and hardly notice the rest.

  4. You have enriched my life this past year, in ways you will never know. Our circumstance in life has many similarities, and you always strike a chord in my heart when I read your messages. It adds validity to my life. Thank you and Happy New Year to you and yours!

    • Thank you, Bev. Your words make me feel what I do is worthwhile. I hope you’ve survived holidays–more or less–and have something to look forward to in the New Year. Blessings to you as you/we continue searching for solid ground. I’ll see you at the grocery store!

  5. Spectacular photos Elaine. Easy to see how you fell in love with the property.
    Wishing you a very happy and prosperous new year. Cheers to a new year full of new possibilities. 🙂

  6. What a beautiful page to wake to on this wild morning in Yorkshire, England. Some of my favourite poems and lovely photos. Thanks Elaine. I will revisit and look again soon.

    • Thank you, Jan. I hope it’s a wild morning in a good way. Here we have dull skies and drizzle. I happily missed all the dramatic weather in the central United States. But even on these drab days, I find green beauty in the forest because it’s been so warm, a bit like English weather, I think. New Year’s Blessings to you.

  7. Yes! Thank you Elaine! These photos are truly glorious and your choice of the accompanying poetry. Keep on watching Nature in all her glory – no better balm for the soul. All good wishes to you for an ongoing wonderfully creative 2016. And thank you for your friendship over social media … nature in a different shape and form perhaps but also balm for my soul.

    • Ah, Susan. Thank you. When you send a message, I immediately think of place and imagine a distant landscape with you and your flowers in it. It’s a gift to be connected to you and your world. I look forward to what you write in 2016 and know it will light my fire. Happy New Year.

  8. Elaine,
    What a closing of the year opening of a new year gift are these images and words!
    They blow me toward my journey to the west where I will take photos of the desert and share them!
    I look to be tutored by the rock and dust and sky of Joshua Tree.
    Be well,

    • Go west, my friend. You will love Joshua Tree. Because Vic was sick when we were there, I hiked to a mystical magical palm tree oasis alone (and that reminds me of Inanna with her symbol of palm fronds). Thanks for your loving words and friendship. I look forward to your photos and stories of adventures. Happy Love-filled New Year.

  9. This is stunning, Elaine. Words and views, I love it all. Cheers to you for a bright new year.

  10. Elaine, we share a love of the sky and all of it’s gifts! Thank you for sharing your beautiful captures of this past year and the poetry that you chose to accompany, all such a treat this evening. Happiest and healthiest of New Year’s!

    • Thank you, Carol. It’s been solid gray sunsets in the Finger Lakes this week. I miss the color. Clear skies forecast for most of this week. My camera and I are ready. I love being home for sunset. New Year’s Blessings to you.

  11. A stunning post, Elaine. The splendour of the sky…and such beautiful poetry. Gorgeous!

    Wishing you a Happy New Year. Kimmie.

  12. The light out my study window of a morning as the sun comes up is lovely. But it is hard not to see these pictures and not miss the hills of the Southern Tier, and the lakes I knew by the names of their indigenous tribes. Wishing you – and my parents – some sunny days.

    • After many gray days, today was sunny and cold. Unfortunately I was still in Ithaca at sunset, but I will be here to see sunset tomorrow. I think of your parents not far away and what a hard time it is for them and you. My mother-in-law turns 100 in three weeks and started losing memory just this year. It’s not like my mother’s Alzheimer’s pattern because Vic’s mom knows she’s confused. “I’m so mixed up,” she says twisting a raised hand in a typical Italian gesture. This getting old is difficult in ways I had never imagined. It doesn’t look a bit like the cover of AARP magazines. Thanks for taking time to comment, Paula. I know about your resolutions, so I’m doubly honored. We have to make compromises when it comes to social media.

  13. Such a perfect combination of beautiful words and beautiful images. I’m a little late, Elaine, but I wish you a happy, healthy 2016. May the coming year be filled with precious blessings! I look forward to continuing to read your inspiring and thought-provoking words.

    • Happy New Year to you, dear Ann. Never too late. It’s beginning to feel like the New Year as the days grow noticeably longer. It must be easier for you to get home when there’s a little light left in the sky–that is if you’re home by 5:30.

  14. Lovely, lovely, lovely! Thank you

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