Monday 2nd December 2019
As we near the winter solstice, the sun barely makes it over the top of our back hedge (okay, it's a pretty tall hedge) before plunging out of site like a nightshade drawn down. And then it is pitch black out. More so in our village because—by virtue of public decree?—there are no street lights of any description. To venture out at night without a flashlight would be just about asking for a fall. Which is why I can't wait for the colored lights to go on our fence (see picture) or for other villagers to string up their Christmas lights. It helps to bring some warmth and cheer to these cold, dark, frosty evenings.
And yet despite the cold and dark I love winter! For me it is a time to hunker down or hibernate (I think I might have been a bear or at least a hedgehog in a past life). Get into warm pajamas well before bedtime, turn on the gas fire, drink hot tea or chocolate, and burrow under a thick woolen blanket. It is a time to read or listen to music; it is a time for quiet.
It is the quiet that gives me the time and space to take stock of my life. To reflect and to be grateful for so many things—for loving family and friends, a nice, warm home with plenty to eat and clean water to drink, for my faith, for good health, for my writing...I try not to take any of these for granted.
As 2019 ends I think about the things I've said and done over the past year I'm not so proud of, and what I could change about myself—what could I do—to be a better person in 2020.
I wish you all a very lovely Christmas and a healthy and joyful 2020.