I think snow is falling on the mountains. Not the rainforest covered mountains I live at the base of but the cold and frosty mountains a thousand miles south of here. When it snows there, it's cold here. Nothing brings out the earth mother in me more than a cold afternoon. It catapults me back to my childhood when my mother, in the days well before central heating and electric blankets, would lay thick pink and green woollen blankets out on the warm floor in front of our blazing open fire and wrap me and my sister each in a cosy woollen cigar shape. Then dad was called in to carry us both to bed. I can still see Tricia being carried, giggling, enclosed in her pink and green woolliness from neck to feet, into bed, and remember waiting for my turn while I watched the fire and listened to its crackling. When it's cold, like my mother, I want to wrap everyone I love in pink wool and put them to bed. Many things have changed for me since those days of my youth and the way we live now is not much like what it was then, but when I feel the chill of an afternoon come up from those southern mountains, I know the snow is falling and it never fails to take me back home again.
When I feel those cold winds and know there will be a cold (for us) night ahead, I think of warm flannel sheets, extra quilts and fleece blankets. Much to Hanno's horror, I am still luxuriating in having the windows open when we sleep. I love feeling the cold air on my face while I snuggle deeper into the warm embrace of our bed. It won't be long though before I have to close the windows to keep out the icy air. I started writing this blog yesterday afternoon. It's morning now and yes, the night was cold, and I had to close the last remaining open window halfway through the night.
Almost every type of homemaking task is better for me when the weather is cold. Not only does the colder weather make me want to fluff up my nest more, but working is more pleasurable when I feel that nip in the air. And there is that intensity that comes with the coldness of winter - a primal instinct from deep within tells me it's more important now to bake bread, keep warm, and to cook nourishing traditional foods for those I love. It seems that work takes on a new significance now; that if I don't do it right, all will be lost. I suppose many think of winter as a harsh season, but I never do as there are so many opportunities to soften the coldness with woollen cardigans, lambs wool slippers and hot chocolate.
I have had a lovely couple of days floating through my house work and I spent a morning with my good friend Bernadette who is in hospital at the moment. We talked about some very personal and confronting things and when I left her, I felt truly grateful to be healthy and have the freedom to live as we do. But the truth is that while I enjoyed the past few days I missed laying my thoughts down in this blog. I didn't miss the computer or the internet, only the blog and the capacity to connect to you. It was like missing a friend who used to drop by for a cup of tea, and then stopped coming. I'm pleased to be back.
I have a few questions to answer that I promised a few days ago, so I'll do that tomorrow.