We had quite a blustery storm on Saturday. It snowed in every direction except straight upward by turns (and sometimes at the same time) off and on all day, and the wind was unrelenting in its chaotic, howling dance (50 mph+ at times). The kids were delighted by the snow falling, and disappointed that there wasn’t much accumulation.
What was most striking to me, aside from the hundred-year-old windows rattling ominously in their frames upstairs, was the shimmery grayness of the sky and landscape when obscured by clouds and blowing snow. I’m from eastern North Carolina; blustery winter storms are Not A Thing there. Blue-gray or even black rolling thunderheads, sure, but not this.
People often describe that winter-gray sky as bleak, depressing, dull, etc. but it was absolutely beautiful to me. It didn’t look cold (though the temperatures certainly said so!) — rather, the sky almost glittered with this cloak of clouds softly draped over the land. The raiment of late autumn/early winter is a stunning meld of both seasons here, iced-over puddles filled with colorful leaves, and tree branches in varying degrees of starkness.
This is a time of gathering-in, of quiet pauses and reflection on the year that’s been, but it is not a time of nothing. Beneath the freezing ground, seeds and long-dormant ideas that have been carefully tucked away will germinate, pushing upward as spring’s warmth renews the land. It is an ancient cycle, one the trees trust. I am learning to trust it, too.
I’m a Druid. That is not news. But I have been largely a Druid-in-the-background, for reasons that no longer serve me or, I think, the readership of this blog. I’ve been writing when I had something to say, or so I thought, and my approach has been rather haphazard. I always have something to say; I just don’t always say it because by the time I’ve mentally edited (and sometimes sanitized) it for public consumption, the thought dwindles or flits away and the daily grind rushes into the cracks, hurrying me along.
As we face that winter stillness, know that there is much going on beneath the surface here at Melstery. I am working on what will be a weekly feature at least, possibly two of them (Mondays and Fridays? We shall see). These ideas have been germinating for a long time, and although winter is coming to the landscape, I may well find myself amidst tender new shoots here on the blog. Time will tell, as it always does.
As we head into the sparkling gray, keep your eyes on this space. This Druid has things to say, and a focus to bring that has long been missing.