Yes, A Winter Welcome

~ Words on beginning the Winter Festivities ~

A triptych composition of three animal skulls on a festive twig, atmospherically lit. The skulls belonged to a sheep, a fox, and a rat. The effect is strangely pretty with fairy lights and twisty shadows.

Monday 30th November 2020

Autumn’s last calendar day. The season puts on a thick mist coat so I picture it flouncing out with flaming leaves at its hem, russet apples tumbling behind. Winter clatters at the door, all cold bones and tense sparkling hope. Last night I had driven home connected to a clear night, moon above, fuel warning light pipping, songs turned loud: it was like old poor times, the good energy of it, the leap of faith. This night I drove home through wails of mist, fuel levels contently full, songs still loud: the good energy of repleteness.

My fear of comfort is diminished, I note, and this brings an excitement.
Am I ready?
Yes.

Tuesday 1st December 2020

In bed drinking coffee, having first admired the crazy moon lighting the morning sky silvery bright; the sun behind us was arriving as though poured slowly from a jug.
Welcome to winter.

This first day is a list of simple pleasures: setting up cold protection in the polytunnel, picking a bunch of honeyed marigold, the last of the chillies, two ribbed stalks of celery, a soft knot of pineapple weed.
In the garden picking sage, thyme, rosemary, yarrow, mustard leaf, and bay; each with a texture, each with a scent, each with a use.
Damp grass underfoot, cool blue sky overhead, the horizon is hedges with hoops of bramble and briar stems, red hawberries, red rosehips, or it is the long view of hilly fields and the tree line that follows the river.
Walking with Dog around the lanes, the sun on our backs. Looking for a wild strawberry but finding only two flowers this time: the last one plucked was like a tiny portion of fruit ice cream, so cold and sweet.
Easing off boots, stepping into the kitchen, it smells of woodsmoke and herbs (an edge of wet dog sours too).
Slow roasting a cauliflower, with homegrown chilli. Blending spices- the vivid earth of turmeric, smoky red paprika; cumin, coriander, a bit here and there till it seems right. How pretty the sea salt is, rough crystals tumbling from a spoon.
Waiting for food, tidying up.
Eating. Tasting.
Taking the modest box of decorations out of storage. Relearning collaboration as the baubles and festive quirks are arranged.
(I am an Aesthetic Dictator, I try not to be. We don’t have room for a Xmas tree so we have a section of ivy which for reasons lost to time we decorate with skulls and now feathers, as well as more usual items.)
Winding down: a shower, clean clothes, a glass of house red.
Yes, welcome to Winter.

Early morning sky lit by full moon which is shining through some bare tree tops.Text in white reads 'Welcome to Winter'


Comments

  1. I adore the pared back elegance of winter. As we launch (too fast) into summer, our sweaty and burning season, I am comforted to read these beautiful vignettes from your day. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. It is definitely not sweaty or burny here - I'm sat in bed typing to keep the shivers at bay. Hope the heat doesn't cause you too much stress xx

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  2. We're gradually easing into winter ourselves. Put up the bird feeders this weekend and also got a tree, though we've yet to trim it.

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    Replies
    1. Gradual easement is the pleasantest kind :-)

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