north light

Month: November 2015

A Touch of Frost

The weather has been turning.

After weeks of gentle sunshine, autumn shook itself into winter with winds and rain.

Suddenly the trees are bare, silhouette gorgeous, and reminding me again how much I love the aesthetics of winter, if not the absence of light.

Yesterday we had a first scattering of snow, and the leaves and late flowers were touched at the edges with frost.

Out in the world, it’s hard not to feel like we’re in a winter season. Things can seem very dark.

It’s hard for any of us to make any sense of it. I don’t think there’s sense to be made of it.

It often feels discordant to keep focusing on beauty, on the soft loveliness of the world in the face of such harshness, such darkness, but also wrong to stop, and an affirmation of something important to keep saying otherwise.

mud frozen hard the path a cloud of steam rising round an old man’s head

mist rising
through the hawthorn berries
bullfinch song

winter pilgrim
looking up at the sky
geese honking

streak of silver
clouds
the missing moonlight

another long day
not finding the words –
blackbird song at dusk

soft tears again
for this unknown grief –
the silhouttes of crows

too cold for sketching the line of oystercatchers suddenly rising

poem writing
beneath this skylark song
the scratch of last year’s heather

The Edge of the Flowers

The early autumn here has been beautiful, weeks and weeks it feels like of dry sunny weather, and all the light we didn’t get in the summer. Warm too – last Sunday, the first of November, I was picnicking on the side of a hill in jeans and t-shirt!

I confess though, there’s something about the damp and misty days that draws me in, that lets you be in a different kind of way. Back down at the shore again in the middle of this week the other side had disappeared once more, and everything was drippy, damp.

There were only a couple of lone figures out, walking dogs or like me catching the sounds and patterns of the wading birds out on the mud flats, half there and half not as they drifted in and out of the mist.

There’s no pressure to do anything on a day like this at a place like this, not to enjoy, not to take photographs, not to be impressed or to impress, just be, half there and half not, like the birds.

Even with the dull light and the dampness there were still a few flowers dancing at the edge, and I couldn’t help but admire their torn and tearing softness, muted, like the tones of the day.

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