… the frosty air hits you the second you walk out the door.
Walking with Emily this morning all wrapped up in scarves and gloves and hat. The sky was blue, the sun was rising, highlighting our breath in the icy air. Muddy tracks made by cars in the verges are frozen hard as stone. The fields as far as we can see are white white white with frost and the sheep now creamy brown smudges in the distance. As we walk our cheeks redden and our noses run but its nice being out here on mornings like today – as the cars race past rushing children to school – all cosy, quick and warm, well, today I am not envious. I would not want to miss this crisp December beauty for all the cosy cars in China.
A robin swoops low and close to my face, flying up again and landing on the pine tree on the other side of the lane. Wrens, with their high pitched squeeks are playing up high in the oak trees. The oak trees that are now bare, great thick branches gnarling upwards and along which squirrels race and pause and race again. We watch them leap from the trees onto telegraph wires – they run – without a care along the wires which are suspended high over the road, then skit vertically down the posts on the other side to disappear into the hedgerow.
The lake at Langley Chase catches a glint of early morning sunlight. Swathes of leaves fallen from the surrounding trees have collected together on its icy surface like islands.
It feels good to walk back into the warm house and put the kettle on for a cup of tea and toast. A couple of slices of spelt bread, buttered and smothered in homemade quince jam. When you don’t write it down it doesn’t seem so special, but when written it becomes something solid – a memory taken hold of, appreciated and recorded. Sometimes I get to wondering if it is too much introspection and I would be wiser getting stuff done, rather than reflecting. But when I am ‘doing’ I feel this urge to write it down all the time, to take photographs, to ‘capture’. There is a fear, perhaps one that is bound to accompany growing older, that there will come a day when I will wish I had recorded all of these small moments which make up a life. I want to take the taste of that quince jam or the crunch those icy sycamore leaves made beneath my boots and wrap them up in words for preservation. They are not the same as the experience but they hold a clue to it – a whisper of truth perhaps.
It seems I cannot stop writing, so I’m just going to carry on self-indulgent or not.