The kitchen is warm and cosy on this dull day. On the windowsill, nestling within a plant pot, a jewel lies. Nurtured by my mother, the first crocuses of this new year have emerged from their long sleep. Almost iridescent against the grey of winter, the purple shines out, a beacon of promise.
A bitter north wind blows around the house. Banging at windows and doors as though to seek entry. The fire in the hearth fights back defiantly, spitting up the chimney. I sit barricaded against the cold, quilt thrown over me. Hands occupied with stitching, the picture slowly forms.
A sunflower for a friend, cheery colours in the winter dusk. My mind wanders back to the summer. Sunflowers nodding their heads in the garden. Planted as part of Good Friday meditations, they took until late August to come into bloom. A period of waiting, of expectation. Of watering, care, nurture. Finally the buds were seen. They slowly opened out, blossoming in the heat. Following the sun with their faces.
Hands occupied with stitching, the picture slowly forms. Seeds planted. I wait for the coming of spring, for the blossoming. For the harvest.
‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope, and a future.’ Jeremiah 29:11
The alder cones dangle
Empty from the branch
Promise of new life to come
And so we wait
As we celebrate
Of the first promise
For the second coming
For the new dawn
For the future
For the alder to blossom
And bear fruit
In due season.
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
The rain makes mirrors of the pavements, reflecting the light. The sun prepares to descend in this winter world, readying himself for the new dawn. A double rainbow curves overhead, full of rich promises. Christmas Eve waits in hushed anticipation, sparkling into the night.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
Merry Christmas! Nadolig Llawen! God Jul! Buon Natale! Frohliche Weihnacthen! Prettige Kerstmis! Crăciun fericit! I’m sure you get the message. Have a wonderful and blessed time.
High tide and gales last night. Doors and windows rattled, and the whole house shook with the power of the sea hitting the seawall. This morning the windows are coated with salt spray, blurring the edges of the world. Brilliant sunshine shines over the bay, highlighting the wave tops as they gallop shore-wards. We walk balanced on the edge of the wind. Even as we approach the strand, the tempest continues to whip the water, creating a bubbling mass. On the beach, a cappuccino has been washed up. Masses of coffee-coloured foam covers the sand. With the gusts, it rises and swells, jelly-like on the shore. I step in and sink into the softness, walking through a bubble bath. My boots disappear beneath the suds. Laughter peels across the beach, carried home on the breeze.
Stepping out into the winter sun. The otter has left his calling card on the boat ramp in the night. No sign of him this morning. The curlew hunts for food among the tumbled seaweed, while the heron stands on watch, waiting for the incoming tide. The low light of the shortest day reflects off the rock-pools, and the seagulls creel their song.
Face peeping out on the world, the only part exposed to the elements. Yesterday’s sun is replaced by cold and damp. Rain and sleet hurled on a northerly wind. The tide roars in, splashing over onto the road. A mad dash to the post office through a grey world. The gutters pour with water, and the puddles are ringed with raindrops. Then, task complete, blown back along the pavement to the warmth of home. A gradual defrosting of limbs on the radiator. A mug of tea. The Christmas tree stands, waiting impatiently. Slowly the decorations are unpacked, each one with a story to be told. Rainbow colours of memory sparkle amidst the green, a bright spot in the day.
For a Christmas Tree Blessing, see this link: http://faithinthehome.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/christmas-tree-blessing/