I shall start with a poem today, I was inspired looking out of my window when I awoke.
Iced-up; the river seems un-moving.
Edged with lumps of white that are
sculptural; frozen and un-bowing.
The river slows ahead and stops
and at its bend surrendering,
so strangely still, she yields to Nature,
whose Chill is far too much a contest for her Dance
and she pauses in the ice-flow’s stony grip.
Proudly, a narrowed channel fights its way
and far beneath the great covering of white ice,
(those sheets where in my fancy
those water-nymphs may skate or skid),
I cannot help but trust she flows
and cannot help but pray that she will never sleep.
Everywhere of late there has been nothing else but the talk of the Great Cold. It has been so cold that 0 degrees is beginning to feel like warm to us. I wake this morning and somehow suspect it is more like -12 and I am amazed to see that the river is frozen. I vow to invest in a Max-Min thermometer; our neighbours have one hanging by their back door. There is some odd satisfaction in knowing or being able to relate to others what the temperature is/has been.
As a child of the fifties I was used to having ice on the inside of my windows but lately in the UK we have not been blessed with such ‘proper’ winters. I remember one in the 1980’s when, back in Sussex, the temperature was -8 for several nights.
It was -4 at 5 pm last evening, I know that because my car has a temperature gauge and I bore passengers by reading it as it fluctuates on my journeys up and down hills and mountains. It was -8 locally during the day. It feels like -12 today but I am only guessing. I have put an extra duvet on the bed and won’t go into details but I am well layered-up!
Molly the cat ventures out but soon returns. One dog is almost wrapped around the Rayburn; the other is cooched up on his pillows on the floor beside my bed, right next to the heater. He (Finn) was twelve on New Year’s Day and we spoil him in honour of his great age by letting him sleep in the bedroom and he lies on proper pillows (and has his own doggy pillow cases of course!). The two dogs rarely cooch up together, in fact the cat and Finn are more ‘loving’ to each other, regularly grooming and washing each other. (I will try and post you a photo).
I shall have to go and fetch more logs in as I think we will be getting through a lot in these coming days. We store them in the old forge across the road and carry them over in the wheelbarrow to store in the front porch. Snow is forecast for some areas, maybe tomorrow morning. Luckily our freezer is not empty and we have enough tinned and dried foods to see us through should we be snowed in. I have to replenish the bird feeders, run the dogs, and drive to the local shop to get a Sunday paper which is a little indulgence I still enjoy. Then I will retreat to the warm cottage and get a dinner cooking.
So are there blessings?
There always are. Here are just a few.
Duvets. I need say no more.
New Years. And their Resolutions or Predictions maybe? I shall soon be blogging about this as it is the subject for our writing group’s next exercise.
Hot Soups. Foods with a kick. Curries, Stews, Roasts. Dumplings. No more elaboration needed here either.
Sundays. My favourite day of the week. I have enjoyed this Christmas holiday period (did I really write that?) inasmuch as each day has merged and become like a Sunday and given over to a break from the much-despised routine that life can become.
Last... but never let it be said it is the least….. The joy that is Reading a Good Book. I get such pleasure in my job by seeing borrowers feel that same delight and anticipation of finding warmth, both physical and spiritual and a genuine comfort from escape into others’ creativity where others’ words can take them into others’ worlds.
Will that be enough?
I could add the wonder that is a great voice, a voice of an angel in fact, such as Leona Lewis’s who is singing to me as I type. I play Run over and over as I love the lyrics and the way the melody rises in volume and power.
That’s enough for now. Chores await.
I send you all warm wishes and also a huge prayer for Peace in the world.
“I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.”
1879 - 1955
Go mbeanna Dia duit,