It began yesterday morning when the temperature dropped. This dreary, straight down rain we’ve felt so wrong about all month became soft floating flakes of snow – wet enough to stick to every branch, every bough, thick enough to cover last years piles in a pristine white eiderdown. Less than a day later I wake to find myself surrounded in pure white floating dancing wonder. I have yet to see another natural phemomenon that transforms the world so profoundly, that so clearly gives all who live within it permission to go inward. Entranced in the big window, I sit with my face twelve inches from the swirling sculpted outside. The sense of it is sinking in – I can feel in my whole body that Winter is Here, Now.
It’s time, the Ojibway will say, to tell stories. Time to gather together and slow ourselves down so we can share them, repeat them, sing them to one another. To write down the thoughts that so easily escape and dissolve in other, busier seasons, to build hearth-fires and keep them burning, to notice subtle things about people and respond to them, gently, as you would offer a story, gently. As the days grow longer here, they also grow colder – so we enter the season in which warmth replaces light as the generous thing to offer. I do love this about us, here.
Inside there is peace too. This Christmas has been marked by a steady (but not punishing) schedule of visits, gatherings and meals, none of them fraught with tension or angst, melodrama or frustration- rather a sense, for me anyhow, of deep joy, true appreciation, and contentment. We’re still not done – there are at least four more important gatherings to join, a huge turkey and a ham to consume (on two separate occasions, thank god), hikes through the snow with cameras and conviviality, books to read together in a house with others reading books, letters to write, and – for me, because Christmas Day came at us headlong like a steam engine full of Vivaldi Glorias & Corelli Concertos – presents to finish making.
I dreamed last night that I had forogotten to bring my cello to a recording session. No panic, in the dream – I simply went home to retrieve her – but it was a clue – I need to reconnect, in a deep & meaningful “winter” way, with my friend. To release her chocolate tones again and again, more and more specifically. To play the Faure, the Saint-seans, the Dotzauer & the Bach with her into my new gadget, so I can hear them back, polish. And soon, to write and sing my own, which will feel like building a warming fire, and keeping it lit.
Happy Wednesday all, & thanks for the beauty.