Until Next Year

Little birds
And bows
Snowflakes
And icicles
Packed away
Carefully
Until next year…
Next year
I’m still
Thinking about
This year
At least for
One more day
Well, actually
Longer than that
I would imagine-
People, places
And things
Sprinkled thru
The days, weeks
And months
Mostly the people
And their impact
On my life-
Memories
Unlike the
Little birds
And bows
Snowflakes
And icicles
Have no need
Of being
Carefully
Packed away

Christmas Gifts

Another year
To celebrate
Family
Friends
Goodwill
And cheer
Mercy
Grace
Forgiveness
And hope
A precious gift
Tiny baby born
Lying in a manger
Sleeping among
The animals
Listening to
The Lullaby
Of angels

When I consider Christmas past, some gifts stand out. The jewelry box from mom and dad that was also a music box! Dolls of the World from my Aunt Sharon. A voice print of my kids saying Mama from Gart. How my Granny Mahar always had a gift for each of her twenty-six grandchildren. ❤️

Great or small, each gift was given in love. And each giver holds a place in my heart.

I’ve been called sentimental more than once. There’s no denying it. But the older I get, the more my sentiments rest on people, not on things. Each memory is a gift held in the heart. Tied together by an unending ribbon of affection, six-inch curls in between. 😉

Silent Night, arranged by Phillip Everen Kelley Morris, piano

Christmas Time is Here by Vince Guaraldi Kelley Morris, piano

Merry Christmas!

Illumination

Far away stars
Shine bright
Against the
Night sky
Rays of sunlight
Suddenly pierce
Gray clouds
After a storm
Tiny lights
Gently twinkle
Among the
Evergreen branches-
Light speaks all languages
Providing
Glimmers of hope
Bursts of joy
Moments of Mercy
Only a little
Is required
To illuminate
The Darkness

Christmas Thoughts

A quiet Christmas morning. Time for us to rest, enjoy each other’s company. No hustle and bustle of last-minute shopping required. Thankful.

A quiet celebration. Occurring in the heart. Reflecting on the roots of my faith. Believing along with my questions. Faithful.

A quiet remembering. Blending memories from Christmas past and present. Children who graciously accepted gifts now thoughtfully give. Hopeful.

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
What Child is This?
In the Bleak Mid-Winter~Kelley Morris, piano

Merry Christmas! ❤️🎄 🕊

Deep and Wide

So simple
So completely
Disarming
We celebrate
Its appearance
On babies faces
Then proceed
Doing everything
Possible to
Encourage
Its return-
A sweet smile
Lighting up
Faces
Lighting up
Rooms
Lighting up
Hearts
When noticed
By a friend
Mine somehow
Grows wider
Reaches deeper
Prompting
Inward
Reflection
Inspiring
Outward
Awareness-
Are the faces
Drifting by
Genuinely
Beaming?
Or are they
Searching
For a reason
To smile?

These five drove four-and-a-half hours to celebrate Christmas with my parents. The visit may have been short, but its sweetness will last a long time. ❤️

Simply Sunday

Christmas Light

Searching
For light
It’s that time
Of the year
Green trees
Adorned
With tinsel
Topped
With angels
Or stars
Drawing eyes
And hearts

Searching
For light
It’s that time
Of the year
Scenes of
A stable
Tiny baby
Surrounded
By animals
Love and
Redemption
In innocence

Searching
For light
It’s that time
Of the year
An awareness
The light is
Searching
For us, to be
Reflected in
Our faces
Our words
Our actions

All packed Up and Ready To Go

Laundry
The night
Before
Means
Packing
The night
Before
Means
Bedtime later
Than normal
Restless sleep
Like a child
Waiting for
Tomorrow
To arrive
Except
No longer
A child
And though
My heart
Will be ready
My body
Will be tired
Counting on
A little caffeine
A little music
A little conversation
To carry me safely
Down the road
From home
To home
And back again…

As I head to Arkansas to spend a week with my parents, I am thankful.

Thankful for my husband who says-Go! This is most important.

Thankful for my adult children who say-We understand! We will see you there!

And for extended family and friends who say-We will miss you! See you another time. Safe travels!

Merry Christmas!

Waiting for Silent Night

The ground weeps
This morning
Unable
To hold back
The tears
Soaked into
Its roots
From those
Crying above
Hearts
Once light
Now heavy
With worries
Witnesses to
Devastation
Prevailing wind
Moves across
The land
Initially
Unsuccessful
In drying
Their tears
And yet, not
Deterred
I feel it
Right now
Gently caressing
My face
As it whispers
Let your tears
Mingle with
The suffering
Watering
Seeds of hope
Waiting
For Silent Night

Silent Night~Kelley Morris, piano

Scenes From School

Scene One

Walkway outside the music room.

Several First-grade students: Mrs. Morris! I am signing up for your piano class!

A Fifth-grade student: Mrs. Morris…why is it only for first and second graders?

I am excited to offer a piano club for the first time! It will be for First and Second graders. Looking into offering a second class. Shhhhh…

Scene Two

A group of teachers and school staff members at Target:

It is Angel Tree time at our school. Teachers and staff work diligently to make sure our students have what they need along with something they want. This year, a local corporation sponsored some of our angels. All they needed were shoppers.

What are you looking for?
Here are some cool Legos!
Oh, and these shoes are cute!
What do you think about this hoodie?

Passing each other in the store, all smiling as we searched for just the right gifts. The same as in the halls each day at school. Sometimes with tears instead of smiles, always with concern for our students.

A few of our secret shoppers. ❤️💚

Scene Three

The music classroom.

Me: Today is our student teacher, Mr. Malone’s last day with us. We need to say thank you and goodbye.

Student One: Why can’t he be our teacher? Are you ready to retire?

Student Two: Wait, is he a student? But he is a grownup!

Student Three: (Eyes welling up with tears.) I am going to miss him. (Crying along with a goodbye hug.)

Scene Four

The community kitchen-bustling with holiday cheer.

Friday morning, teachers and staff were treated to a pancake breakfast! The counter was lined with bowls of strawberries, bananas, chocolate chips. Complete with peanut butter, syrup, and whipped cream. The jolly cooks were none other than our administrators!

Two of our three amazing administrators. ❤️

One more week until Christmas break! ❤️💚❤️

Part of the Harmony

I have not spent enough time at my piano in recent weeks. So this week, I decided to remedy that. With it being Christmas time, what to play was an easy choice.

As I played through several old Christmas hymns, the word balance kept coming to mind. No matter the context, there are always notes, voices, instruments, rhythms that need to be heard above the rest. And quite often, that spotlight is shared, giving others a chance to be heard.

Even though one voice might not be the momentary focus, it remains essential to the music. Where would that melody be without harmony? Or that jazz riff without the brushes of the drum floating behind it?

When I sat down to play this morning, I began by playing the hymns as written. Though tempting, I did not add any embellishments. My goal was to play so that the melody rang out clearly, while the harmony provided support.

After reading the music as written, I went back and added new rhythms, patterns, harmonies while keeping the melody clear. Both versions required the same thing-balance.

I have said this before, but the only time my brain is calm is while I am playing the piano. Somehow, it provides an inner balance. There is that word again. Outside voices are quieted. Worries of the day temporarily disappear.

Music reminds me that I do not need to raise my voice above the crowds. Although I may have something important to say, unless it is balanced with love for those in hearing range, I should probably remain part of the harmony.

Harmony-that is my prayer for this Christmas. For there to be less shouting and more listening. That we may experience joy amid our sadness. And hope that outweighs our fears. Merry Christmas!

Please enjoy a few Christmas carols! ❤ Kelley Morris, piano

What Child is This?
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Dat
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Hark the Herald Angels Sing