October, I love you

This is the best. I'm reclining on the couch next to our jubilantly flowering begonia tree (?) with a near-bottomless mug of tea and the late afternoon light is all golden and violet playing on the buildings down the street and illuminating the intense yellow of the birch leaves overhead. The rabbits are quietly nibbling hay, the husband is puttering in his workshop, and the cat is out of sight but almost certainly lounging on the doorstep like she owns this end of the neighbourhood.

I've had some time off, which may account for this good mood and this first blog post in five months (!). I suppose I could say we've been doing exciting things and visiting everyone we miss in the daily grind of working life. But mostly that wouldn't be true. It is such a relief to finally have time for ourselves. Things like Enough Sleep, baking, painting, cooking real food... these have been enough, so much enough that I want to wallow in them and never go back to the hectic busy life. It is so good to see the light move across the house and garden at different times of day. To mostly not wear a bra. To stay up until midnight painting ten paintings at once and listening to an audiobook because I squeezed too much paint onto the palate and because I could.

I don't have a recipe today, only a heartfelt recommendation of the quiet life, of stepping back and slowing down, of spending a day pulling weeds and listening to birdsong, and of walking in the rain under dripping trees and coming home to make chai and chilli and biscuits, or whatever is easy and fulfilling. Also, I get awkward about blogging when I let too much time elapse between posts, and had meant to write something quite different but here we are and it's good to be back.


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.

when the moon is out

Today has been a day of seagulls. On my way home I slowed down to a crawl because a flock of gulls had surrounded an old man by the roadside. I think he was feeding them, and they wandered contentedly in the street. Out walking beside the ocean this afternoon, I saw was the usual unremarkable seagull presence and then, lit by the low sunlight, one gull coasted in on a flurry of white wings. It wandered on the shallow beach, zigzag-ing its way closer to me and cocking its head in a questioning way. This morning, despite my lucky squirrel socks, I stalled through three lights at a little hill in town. Happily, at that hour of the predawn there was no one to see. Still a little shaky from my drive (calm reservoirs get low when  overtired) while walking to work from the car in the dark, I heard something move in the bushes beside the sidewalk. I started and ran.

Work went surprisingly well for such a tired day. I got stuff done and made people laugh, which seems like an all around success to me.

There are some things I like about my job and its hours. Often I'll look up from rolling pastry to see people going by with umbrellas in the grey drizzle, and by the time I'm done work the sky clears up and there are usually patches, if not great swaths, of blue. Sleep deficiency makes me feel fragile and more open, which can be a beautiful experience.

A woman I worked with for years always commented that she had trouble sleeping when the moon was full. I think there may be something in this for me. The brightness inspires a creaturely alertness and the night is very beautiful when the moon is out.

I was lamenting to J on how this blog seems to have turned into "I woke up early, drove to work and hopefully didn't stall too much, worked, then came home and hung out with my rabbits" and he suggested that maybe this could be a dream post, about where I would like to be a year from now and what I wish I were doing. He's a clever man. What I would really like is to be at home with a baby, and to have a big vegetable garden and chickens, and spend my spare time baking, painting and crafting.

We are having a roast for dinner tonight, in stages because it always seems to take longer than we plan for. It is somewhat of a picnic as we've set up blankets on the floor in front of the fireplace.

Here is Seven the rabbit's advanced maths for the evening:




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