Sunday, November 30, 2008

[thought for the day] sunday evening

It was one of those chilly and empty afternoons in early winter, when the daylight is silver rather than gold and pewter rather than silver. [GK Chesterton]

If the winter solstice is midwinter, then one might be forgiven for thinking of December 1st as the genuine start. The bite of the air, the beauty of the lengthening shadows, the stark silhouettes of leafless trees, the pale glow of a setting sun, mid-afternoon - all these allow one to turn one's thoughts inwards.

I think of my mother and father out there in the bleak and bitter night, when once was a warm fire and good cheer indoors. I think of it now, all gone, as are good friends, close friends, loves in my life, now scattered across the world.

It's a time of quiet and calm solitude, a time to put one's hands in one pockets, muffle up and set ones' face against the icy wind. It's a time of cold feet and hands and somehow it suits the mood.

It's a time of memories, of better days, when it wasn't necessary to think of whether you could afford the following week's food, when you'd be called in for mulled wine and pies, when the soothing lightness of a fall of snow would fill the streets and the yellow sodium lamps would shine dimly through, when there weren't so many cares as people have today.

Winter focuses the mind wonderfully on the long distance journey ahead, down the fading years. It throws regrets into sharp relief but it has its pluses too. Hot food, filling food, e-mailed messages from friends who don't wish you ill, hot cocoa, the warmth of the duvey and the calm - always the calm.

It's December 1st tomorrow.


CherryPie said...

Friends don't have to be sat right beside you. No matter where they are in the world they are still close, distance can't separate friends.

No matter how bad things get, there are always better times to come.

Gallimaufry said...

One thing that keeps me cheery is the knowledge that I will never wake up as Peter Mandelson.

James Higham said...

Cherie, thank you for that.

Gallimaufry, whatever the issue, large or insignificant in the scheme of things, there is great injustice out there and one of those injustices is Mandelson, looking down his supercilious nose at the British people.

Britain is not amused.

Anonymous said...

Great photo...reminds me sort of my house and the woods behind them. I woke up this morning and there was snow...everywhere!

James Higham said...

We have frost here.


Boy, are you ever a romantic.
You have many true friends James, to be sure.
And true friends feed your soul.

Dragonstar said...

Yes, winter focuses our thoughts inwards. But then the Solstice arrives, and the days start to hurry into spring. The warmer days will soon come, and there will be no more beautiful, crisp winter days - until next time!

Thud said...

We had our first proper winter weekend on the Wirral and I enjoyed every second of it.

James Higham said...

I vastly prefer the winter.

Rick said...


That's a beautiful picture. It reminds me of when I lived in NY, and we had ice storms that left a beautiful landscape.