Winter on an island…


A damp, grey gentle quiet is descending on this place, this island. This paradise, this prison. This sanctuary.

The air in May is now much cooler now. A chill damp envelopes everything on this small island. The clouds hang motionless in a grey sky. Dew stays on greying leaves till noon. Trees now stand stark, grey , denuded of their greenery. Fogs flood the valleys and rise from streams and rivers. Frost glistens then slowly burns off, evaporating in silvery steam. Native animals are seen in fewer numbers. Birds no longer have chicks around them. Life is changing…

This tail end of a season has its own important place amongst all other seasons. Not quite yet winter. Certainly no longer summer and no longer truly autumn. Winter now has its cooly confident embrace upon the land. It possesses the embrace of a long absent friend – still part unfamiliar but also remembered. Trepidatious at first but with a quiet knowing that the embrace will grow stronger. Such is my connection to winter. And my memories of past winters.

I take a deep breath and draw the clear clean air into my lungs. Isolation in the face of such immensity floods my deepest being. At first I feel apart from the seasons, living in my insulated world of lighted rooms and warm motor cars but also now increasingly connected to this approaching wintry season, the earth itself, the planet, but struggle to describe in words, what it is I am actually experiencing. Somewhere within I am connected to all. But even much more deeply – I sense I am not connected to the seasons when living in my usual world of busy people and controlled environments. Crowded streets and motor cars with diesel fumes. Such things do not draw me. These places and inventions are not for me.

I need more. I need nature, the outdoors, forests,streams and weather.

I am drawn to this gentle grey weather as I am to the earth which creates it. The weather is somehow is a manifestation of our inner human moods and spirit. I observe change as winter arrives, a landscape enduring necessary pain and loss, of diminishing colour in the nature around me, amorphously present in dying grass, greying ferns and streams reduced to a trickle . Is this grey weather contributing to the chemicals and moods that drive our deepest being… Far within our inner selves, it is a benign presence, an internal weather, in which we all as humans may dwell. Is it me who has the power to bring warmth to my own inner earth, my mind, my heart, my body? Or maybe I don’t have this power. Maybe I am as much a part of these seasons as the clouds, the rain and the sun. Ephemeral and ever changing.

But knowing that after winter, spring, summer and autumn always return. Each season playing its inexorable part in the endless cycle of rebirth, change and return to the earth.

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