Back in England in time to observe the Winter Solstice. The day was overcast – very short and very dark. I went for a walk in the woods late afternoon to gather some greenery for Christmas decoration. As the shortest day fell into dusk I garlanded the mantel with pine boughs and fairy lights, lit the candles and built a fire.
The following night was cold and clear. This was the night where the darkness was evenly brushed. The sky was studded with the crystal light of stars. The full moon cast mint light over the farmyard cobbles and the fields. The frosted grass and leaves glittered underfoot as we walked to the orchard. We stood in the latticed shadows of the bare winter branches and remembered the fullness of summer and the promise of blossoms in May.