I’ve been in between storms for the past few days. An excitedly, unsettled weather system has been blowing in from Cornwall. Sunshine to the East and dark, looming storm clouds to the West. Which way is the wind blowing? Will it be rainy (or even hailing!) by the time my bus drops me off. And what of my ride into work? Will I get drenched or fight against a headwind? I’ve been watching the jackdaws and crows flying the grey skies and playing on the edge of the storm front. So what if it rains! It’s fun!
I’ve been studying the skies like a sailor and at a glance can tell if it’s a rain cloud and how soon I’ll have to get out my umbrella out, if at all. I guess I’m prepared for anything. Tonight though, I’d forgotten my umbrella and sat at my bus stop for 20 minutes in a cold, dark rain. This was after riding 3 miles from work to my bus stop. So I was pretty wet. But I loved it; I loved the experience of riding down the wet, dark country roads, seeing the waning moon glow behind or flash between dark rain clouds. And the winter trees framing the edge of the stormy sky. Yesterday morning, I thought they looked like they were grasping for the torn shreds of clouds racing past. But tonight, they looked like delicate, filigree lace, gently edging and cradling the night sky. When I fear and fight against letting go, or when I remember that I am held in the Center of the void – these affect the way I see the winter landscape, which after all, reflects the landscape of our Soul.
While I was sitting in the rain, I loved knowing that in about 45 minutes, I’d be home to our warm flat, where I could strip out of my sodden waterproofs and slip into a hot bath with a glass of wine and ‘The Right Attitude to Rain’ by Alexander McCall Smith. Then, I could eat a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, or better yet, a baked potato with cubed ham and melted Gruyere. Winter teaches us not only about the dying and stripping away which is such an important part of our lives, but that we can make our own comfort in this cold, dark place and time. My comforts are Home, Love, Creativity, Friends and Family, Beautiful Food and my wonderful husband Steve. And I intend to surround myself with these over my Winter Holy Days.
Steve will back home tomorrow and is bringing his Mum Patricia, whom I really enjoy spending time with for the weekend. I’m having a Christmas High Tea for some of my Lady Friends on Saturday afternoon, then we’re having a Rumtopf Open House that evening for several of our friends and neighbours. Then up to the Midlands to have a pre-Christmas visit with Steve’s family. Finally, back Home with Steve to spend the next couple of weeks enjoying our midwinter break At Home together.