There is ice everywhere on the trailing edges of a calendar year, and the puckish lenses of eye and camera linger lovingly on it. We are spending most of our time indoors at the moment, but winter's attentive eyes are passionate for all that, and it is astonishing what can be seen from one's window on a winter morning near the end of December.
Ice glosses trees in the village and dangles in artless suspension from eaves, roof lines and wind chimes. As glossy as hard candy, it sheathes roads, driveways and cobblestones. When the winter sun touches it, the layers are revealed as lacy blankets draped over streets, sleeping hills and fields with crystalline fronds of grass and ferns poking out here and there. Lovely stuff, ice, whether seen in an urban setting or the snow-drowned countryside.
Obviously, all this ice is trying to tell us something, and occasionally I get the message. There is effortless grace and form and natural perfection in every seasonal turning if we can cultivate the patience and wits to see it. Everything around us has a story to tell, and we need trailing edges, liminal intervals and seasonal turnings to learn and grow, to exercise the wonder and connection and creativity that is our birthright.
Winter's fruitful darkness is a doorway through which we must pass to ready ourselves for an exuberant blooming somewhere up the trail. Beyond these dark turnings at the edge of the calendar year, light, enlightenment, warmth and wonder await us.