Winter is Closing In

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Over the last few days I found myself listening to ‘winter music.’  It is interesting to me how as I get older and have more time to focus on myself,  I notice rhythms in my being that mirror those of nature. Upon reflection I think I can honestly say that these rhythms have always been with me, even as a young child, I just didn’t take the time to notice them. I believe that my experience with this world is grounded in nature and that it is part of my purpose in life to find and share the joy found in the forest, the oceans and lakes, the flora and fauna of the earth. So, as autumn winds down and winter begins to gradually creep in, I find myself welcoming the unhurried pace.

My rhythm these days can only be described as slow and contemplative. I like to listen to music whose muse is nature, winter and spiritual in nature.  Ancient classical music, chant or Loreena McKennit’s winter songs seem to fit my introspective mood right now.  When I go out for a walk or sit on the patio with my coffee in the early morning I notice that nature is also not rushing.  The last of the winter apples seem to be content clinging to the frozen branches and there are still some soggy, straggling leaves draped over the branches.   The moss has crept and covered much of  fallen logs and rocks in the forest and is resting with satisfaction in its varying hues of green.  Some of the moss hanging from the trees forms a filmy curtain , as if its job is to create a sanctuary for the forest and its creatures to rest in for the winter.

As winter approaches I am taking more time to be creative and honour the reprieve given to me this year, as I find myself voluntarily unemployed.  For instance, yesterday I spent most of the day working on refinishing a piece of furniture we have been storing and lugging around with us for the better part of a year.  I also got to the apples that I picked over three weeks ago and produced some delicious organic apple juice.  I look forward to the mulled wine and apple cider as well as apple butter that I will create from the golden nectar.  It was doubly satisfying making the juice because not only did the apples come from our own tree, but the juicer was a 50th birthday gift from my kids, so it felt great to use it knowing that they thought of how much pleasure and use the device would bring me when they purchased it.

winter apples

winter apples

the finished product

the finished product

Today I will use some of the remaining  apples and attempt to replicate the most delicious mincemeat ever made.  It comes from Murchies and although I have not been able to indulge in one of their mince tarts for several years now, I always find myself hankering after them as Christmas approaches. I will let you know how that goes.  The timing is perfect because Friday I spent the day with my Mom helping her make Christmas Cake, which I have never made. Mom was looking forward to me coming and did not want to find herself short of any ingredients so in her zeal to make sure she had everything she went a bit overboard.  I was able to come home with plenty of extra dried and candied fruit and so I thought what better to do with it than mix it with the apples I have and try to make Murchies Mincemeat.

I also plan to begin another knitting project today to add to the gift cupboard.  It is my intent to use some of the fibre I have to make presents for everyone this year.  As I said, I am a little short on cash but long on time so handmade gifts are both a luxury and necessity this year. I will also add the finishing touches to the sideboard I refinished yesterday and perhaps gather a few ‘morsels’ from nature to display on its smooth, worn surface.

All these plans could be interpreted as a contradiction of my opening statement, that I have slowed down to mimic the quiet and plodding pace of nature. However, I don’t feel hurried or frenzied to get these projects completed  and although nature appears still, she is no where near stagnant or dead, nor am I.  I like to think that my production at this time of year is of a calm, dreamy nature or an indulgence that I would otherwise not take the time for, were it not for the fact that winter is closing in.

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