Honestly, Winter days.
I’ve been in the thicket of my patch this week, pruning wildly. Feeling sore muscles from an earlier boot camp session flare up. Wearing spider webs and tree debris as I traipse from bed to my growing winter bonfire in leather boots. My late grandfather in-laws’ old hack saw, worn in my hand takes to large branches and secateurs ride out of my tight jean pocket. I dodge the dogs shit and low-lying branches with tree limbs and fingers of native shrub spike into my bare skin.
Its one of the best things I’ve done these past weeks – build that bonfire with clippings. Physicality, I’ve realised is so often hidden in blankets, coats and a moody fug at this time of the year.
Frost under foot on the grass began to crunch louder. Fierce wind in the built up natural wind barriers around our home roared and we took shelter indoors, sunlight came like warm liquid poured all over me. Cries and laughter from my boys at home penetrated layers both rendering me happy, sometimes deeply frustrated. Outside of home, fine winter nights with wine and deep conversation fuel an inner fire. It is these things that I notice now.
How winter finds me in solitary moments, tries to define me bereft of something.
The imprint from what I do these winter days feels transparent, like the leaves yet to rebud in the orchard. Just a trickle of devotion runs through me. My living hums offbeat, quietly in the top corners of the coast. These are honestly, winter days. You can get more sad at this time of the year. Cold.
So, how to build a bonfire to see you through to the end of winter (metaphorically speaking)?
1. Dwell in winter. Explore the darkest, deepest depths of it. Notice the frost and be frightened by the twister that made a gnarly path close by your home in a rogue storm. Be present for it. That’s all, just chill.
2. Collect sticks that have fallen in the storm, build a thin layer over some scrunched up paper. Thin twigs go at the bottom with a couple of thicker sticks on top and light’er up. Fire lighter’s make life easier with damp wood, or a bit of diesel (careful)!
3. Make friends with your beanie. You look hot.
4. Get familiar with your local events calendar and brave the elements. Rock on through to Spring.
5. Unhinge your stiff limbs. Get them warmed up by moving them.
Winter is after all, nearly over.