Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thoughts the Day After...

Here we are, just a day past the Midwinter Solstice, and the garlic chives photographed in seed only a few weeks ago are already up to their eyebrows in snow and wearing little white hats. Most of my garden has disappeared completely, and only a few higher branches and twigs are visible through the kitchen window as I stand here with a sunrise mug of tea in hand and and slow morning thoughts.

A German Shorthair Pointer, Spencer does not have much fur, and he is reluctant to spend much time outside in cold snowy weather. His trips out into the winter garden are brief, and he returns to his own comfy chair in the window with deep sighs and many reproachful looks.

One starts off on a new trail after December 21st, albeit with small steps - trying to coax order into the inevitable holiday clutter, lighting a candle at sundown to hold back the darkness which will continue to hold sway until the end of January, starting a candy-colored Amaryllis bulb in a sunny southern window, cultivating warm thoughts in these deep freeze days of double digit minus temperatures and deep snow.

Most of all, one tries to cultivate an open, thankful and very present state of mind, and I find myself viewing many holiday doings with dismay. Where does all this stuff come from anyway? Is it useful? What is one to do with it and where will it go when the holiday has passed into memory?

The interval between the Midwinter Solstice on December 21 and Little Christmas on January 6th is always a quiet reflective one for me, and its motif is Light: the perfect illuminations of dawn and sunset, the faces of clan and friends, the old fireplace alight with logs of apple, cherry and birch, fragrant honey scented beeswax candles burning on the old oak table - the kindling and nurturing of a steady light within.


Anonymous said...

That sounds so lovely and cosy and warm.

Sky said...

"double digit minus temperatures" is something i have NO experience with and am content to leave this world without any!

hope your short days of light are very merry ones, cate. the photograph reminds me of one i posted last year with our Autumn Joy sedum flowers wearing little white hats.

we are anticipating our first snow of the season with some eagerness as long as it remains shallow! :)