We are well into wintertime here in Devon with short cold days, long dark nights and frosty mornings. I’ve been getting bundled up in my winter cycling gear – fleece tights, extra layers up top, ear muffs, neck warmer and thick winter gloves. After a bad spill on some black ice a couple of weeks ago during my morning bicycle commute, I’ve been taking it easy on my ride into work. Although, I must admit that I look around at the hilltops, fields and sky more often than watching out for icy patches. So beautiful.
I wonder if it is beautiful just as it is, or is it made more beautiful when looked at in beauty?
This morning the world was dove grey, dawn pink and minty green, the fields dusted with frost and edged with silver-tipped pewter grey tree branches and hedgerows. And always, the slate-blue river flows to the sea.
I went for a walk during my lunch break last week through the woods and fields that surround my workplace. I love the winterscape when the leaves have fallen away from twigs and branches and the trees show us their beautiful bones.
When the riot of springtime, the lushness of summer and the harvest of autumn have come to an end, the world quietens down for a rest. In the starkness of the winter landscape, we can make our way through more easily and find all of the secret places normally hidden from view.
We can also rest and somehow see more clearly when our own world quietens and we make the time and space to reflect and simply ‘be’.
I have been thinking about the heralds of spring – the wild daffodils and primroses. But as they are now, in their essence. The bulbs and seeds resting deep within the earth. At home, simply being, until the days start to slowly lengthen and it is once again time to grow and deepen their roots and to sprout upwards through the earth’s surface. Once again into the light.
I especially love home during the wintertime – a warm nest to return to and dream in, to build up the fire and light candles and cook and eat simple, warming foods like baked potatoes, pasta, porridge, stews and casseroles.
For me, the past few years have been a time of winter. What can I say about winter? A time of austerity and impatience. A time of yearning for springtime, yet waiting, always waiting. A time of surrendering to the empty silence. A time of stripping away what is not essential and discovering the essence of who I am. Finally, a time of finding home and when I least expected it, my own True Love.
The season begins to turn towards springtime, even in the depths of winter. Time to wait and see what will grow.
Melinda and Steve