Time seems to spin by more quickly in these shortened days of winter. I always feel like I need a lot more sleep to balance the increased darkness. More time in the light, too, though that is hard to come by just now. The weather has changed. We had what felt like (and may well have been) weeks of cold clear days, when frost lay heavy until almost noon and goldenrose light painted the sides of buildings and even the sidewalks. Mornings were cold and clear and crystalline in that winter way, all streaks and puffs of pink clouds and golden light spilling over everything from far away. Now the weather has softened into rain, clouded pthalo and lilac sky lit up by the city at night. These dark winter evenings are perhaps best spent close to the stove, stirring, chopping, filling the baseboard cool of the house with warm fragrance. Last night the wind roared and threw itself at our small house. From the darkness of our bed in the morning hours I could still hear it howling in from the ocean and I knew then that it had blown all night, tossing and turning through my dreams.
Ah, yes. It feels like it's been ages. I've been lying on the floor drawing in the evenings lately, drinking tea and listening to Discworld audiobooks and fending off the rabbits (who enjoy pencils and watercolour paper for different reasons than mine), instead of lying on the floor typing and drinking tea and fending off the rabbits from the keyboard. It's pretty relaxing. What I've created is a series of black and white pictures that are waiting to be painted or coloured in. My intention is to get prints made and give them away or sell them to give people something relaxing to do on these dark chilly evenings. I'd love to hear what you think about this! On a sidenote, I am sitting in a puddle of long November light. Jeremy is making french toast with panetonne in the kitchen, a gift from my wonderful mother. She also brought us homemade apple butter, and exquisite handmade jewellery for me - thanks Mum!
I'm enjoying this time of year much more than I thought a November could be enjoyed. I love arriving indoors all pink-cheeked and invigorated from the cold. I love snuggling in my wool blanket and my thickest socks. I love thinking about everything I would like to bake. I love the nuthatches and chickadees, downy woodpeckers, flickers, purple finches and others that come to our kitchen window. I love watching squirrels stuffing themselves and the earth with prized nuts, and I love seeing the syrupy light sprawl sideways across the water and through the trees.
Well, I'm without a computer for a little while. My laptop had a flash encounter with a mug of hot peppermint-nettle tea and a rambunctious silver rabbit, which, all things considered, is not a bad way to go. Hopefully it's just the keyboard that's been affected and it'll be geeked back into working order over the next few days. I dug out my ancient MacBook G4 the night of the incident, but the internet seems to have left it in the dust.
This evening we wrote down our fears on little slips of paper, and possible solutions on the reverse, then took turns reading and responding before giving them over to smoke and ash in our fire. Tonight in rabbitland, Seven is going through my purse and snacking on bits of crumbs from this morning's toast. Zephyr alternates between cuddling up for nose rubs and adventuring onto the couch.
My right hand is all seized and sore from scooping hundreds of cookies yesterday. Only three more days of working as a baker making sugary cookies and then I'll be selling delicious wholesome, toothsome, locally milled and lovingly cultured breads and pastries much closer to home!
I am trying to breathe through the dread that comes up each time I think about my next shift at work. I feel so inspired in every other aspect of my life. The wind playing in the trees across the street is a tableau of shifting light on the wide slats of our coffee table. In the next room, bread is slowly rising and the tap drips, keeping time. I've found myself rearranging the house again, as if I get it just right then the rest of my life will fall into place. The afternoon stretches out ahead, all possibility and freedom, the half-formed lists of intentions only guidelines.
These are last summer's butterflies, collected from the roadside on the fringe of the boreal forest.