December 1, 2016
Posted in View from the table
I’ve moved into a 600 year old cottage and it would appear that the windows predate the building; they’re rickety and not functioning properly – much like myself at present. Ha. But it all adds to the charm – unlike myself at present. We are just starting to get used to each other, me and this cottage, the fire-berried pyrocantha that grows around the door and scrapes on the quiet night-time window doesn’t sound so sinister now and I love the shade of the thatch roof that dictates the tone of the early morning light in my bedroom. I like it a lot, it’s small and quirky (again, like me?) it’s so, old, and cold too (no comment). So it’s a different mindset, it’s jumpers and woolly socks, blankets on the sofa and even though I’ve only been here two weeks, a lot of sitting and staring into the fire. The fire makes so much sense in the little living room, it brings it to life, and me too, to an extent. It’s necessary now as frost dusts the windowpanes and lawn in the morning.
I’ve always liked winter – not the being cold bit, I hate that bit, and definitely not the defrosting the car in the morning bit, I hate that bit too. But I do love the feeling of being cossetted indoors; when you get home and you know you don’t have to leave the house again. I like the food; comforting and fattening, I will start cooking properly again soon. I can live with the dark nights right now too, they make me feel a bit hidden and safe. How odd when it’s usually the light that affords us security.
Winter is full of dark spaces and edges; in nature only the strongest and the best prepared survive; it’s barren and dead to the eye, though life is just there, sleeping, laying dormant, just out of sight, just under the surface, waiting for less harsh times ahead. The dark nights mean a drive home from work in the dark, where I hated that before I don’t mind it at all now. Last week it gifted me with three owls – one Little Owl and two Barn – one flitting from tree to tree and one sailing past my windscreen, like a ghost on the wing. Beautiful.
The dark and the cold necessitate a change in behaviour too – of laying low, of huddling up. Christmas is rearing it’s head and I’m not ready, not mentally or physically, if I could push it away I would; a hibernation situation. But I have two excitable children, that’s not an option. I’ll ignore it for as long as I possibly can and I’ll seek out candlelight, the fire, a bottle of red, and go on, a whisky too.
I made a playlist to accompany me. Excuse and indulge me the melancholy, I am rather prone to it, I like it, when the time’s right. The time’s right. Mostly acoustic, mostly singer songwriters – my bread and butter. Some dark edges too, like my mood and the season.
Sometimes it’s good to poke around in the dark places, even if it is just to see what they’re made of, if they really are that scary or hurtful. But not for too long mind; when the days lengthen and the view changes knowing what they’re made of makes it easier to shine some light into them.