Midwinter Cottage

midwinter cottage 002

The air is still.
The storm has passed. 
Stillness and silence pervades the cottage.
Jack is in his bed, and the boys continue to doss away the morning in the Lodge.
A midwinter scene repeated all across the northern hemisphere.
midwinter cottage 006Someone remarked on the increasing silence they noticed in the world around them.
Midwinter is a silent time, suffused with echoes and occasional sounds from strange places.
Places that are more difficult to pinpoint on the landscape…it’s a trick played on us by Mother Nature as she paces the dormitories of sleep and hibernation.
midwinter cottage 014Candles illuminate the darkness, dispelling matt grey for moving shadows.
Jingles of Christmas on the radio, some lovely, most rapaciously dreadful, urging the listener to get out now and spend, spend, spend!
And so the radio is switched off and music switched on, low and evocative.
Midwinter enchants us all with memories of stillness and light, fires and food…times past, selected for our personal album of memories.
midwinter cottage 005I found this photograph recently.
It was taken around Midwinter, in a photo-booth in London, when I first ventured away from home and Ireland.
Scents were what I most missed.
The scents of home, like turf and coal smoke, wisping out of chimney pots on rows of terraced houses.
London was filled with new, more exotic scents, especially places like Portobello Road Market on a Saturday morning, where Patchouli oil perfume lingered in the air.
midwinter cottage 004Working patchwork, brings me back to early days, in London and the sheer wealth of fabric shops and stalls, Laura Ashley and the love of William Morris retro!
midwinter cottage 007Colours, fabrics and textures continue to fascinate.
midwinter cottage 003Natural fabrics hold most memory…perhaps because they are from the natural world, where energy is hosted.
midwinter cottage 009Sackcloth and old lace cover a jam jar, filled with Honesty.
midwinter cottage 010Cotton gingham of various colours in the kitchen.
midwinter cottage 012Willow, wood and clay pottery, mugs and bowls.
midwinter cottage 015The morning, washed by soft midwinter light…not to be bought and packaged for Christmas, but absorbed by the celebratory soul.
midwinter cottage 013Blessings from this midwinter cottage…
 

The USA, Iran and Nowruz

Today is the Ides of March. We are halfway through this month of Spring and the Winter now seems far behind us. There is still much to be done in the garden in preparation for the growing season. Seeds to be sown, plants to be divided and trees to be pruned. The list is as long as one wants to make it really!

The Laurel Arch has grown and spread. It could do with a hard pruning, but I may not get the time as other work is more pressing.  Whether it is cut or not will really only be noticeable to me!

I have lit the stove in the sitting room this evening and Jack stands in front of the fire, just staring into the flames. I wonder if dogs have thoughts and reminiscences?

There’s a long stretch in the days now, with dawn breaking around 7am and light fading in the evening at 6.30pm or so.  I love this time of the year as I am a morning person and have all my best thoughts and energy then.

Spring is one of the four temperate seasons, the transition period between Winter  and  Summer.

In all that is written about Spring, the same themes are covered of rebirth, renewal and regrowth.

We are coming closer to the Vernal Equinox, which is around the 20th/21st of this month.

With all the talk of war between Iran and the USA, it is good to note that both countries share the same welcoming of Spring on the Vernal Equinox. 

The first day of spring (celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on 21 March or the previous or following day depending on where it is observed) is the beginning of the new year in the Iranian calendar. This is referred to as Nowruz, which means “New Day.” This is what Spring is for people all over the world, a new day, a new beginning and perhaps why we love to have a Spring Clean!

We have more in common as people on this lovely Earth than what we have dividing us!

The Ancient Greeks believed that spring was a time of renewal and fertility, represented by the Return of Persephone to her mother Demeter after her sojourn with Hades in the underworld.

If, like me, you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you will be welcoming Spring and celebrating the lengthening days!