Friday, December 16, 2022

Friday Ramble - Adrift in Winter Mind

Ice, and snow are everywhere on the trailing edges of a calendar year, and eyes and camera linger lovingly on it all. It is astonishing what can be seen right from one's window on a winter morning in December.

Snow is falling steadily as I write this in the wee hours of this morning, and thirty or so centimeters of snowfall are foretold for this day, about one foot of white stuff down by nightfall. The village is a changed place, a sea of pristine whiteness beautiful to look at, grueling to move out of streets, lanes, driveways and cobblestones.

Frost glosses trees in the village and sparkles our window panes at first light. Here and there, ice forms cornices and dangles artlessly from eaves, roof lines and wind chimes. As glossy as hard candy, it sheathes roads, driveways and cobblestones, and when the winter sun touches them, the layers reveal themselves as lacy blankets draped over streets, sleeping hills and fields. Lovely stuff, ice, whether seen in an urban setting or glittering on branches in the snow-drowned countryside.

Whole worlds cavort and hum within icicles, and there is an elemental symmetry in their shapes and transparent suspension. Like snowflakes, no two are the same, and I never tire of looking at them. Once in a while I wake up and get the message, but it doesn't happen often enough. Effortless grace and form and natural perfection are everywhere if we will only cultivate the eyes and attention to see them.

Everything around us has a story to tell, and tales from the trailing edges, liminal intervals and seasonal turnings of our lives help us to learn and grow and thrive, to exercise the wonder and connection that is our birthright. All this simply from contemplating a few icicles dangling outside the kitchen window? I am adrift in winter mind, as I always seem to be at this time of the year. The paucity of daylight perhaps?

I think of these days before Yule as being qarrtsiluni days. That lovely Inuit word with its bewildering arrangement of consonants means "sitting together in the dark, waiting for something to happen". Winter's fruitful darkness is a doorway through which we pass to ready ourselves for an exuberant blooming somewhere up the trail. Beyond these dark turnings at the postern of the old calendar year, light, warmth and wonder await us.

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