As a very special mid-Winter solstice approaches and people plan their celebrations for Christmas, a new year and the return of longer daylight hours, I find myself wishing for more darkness.
I love the quiet of the long nights, an open fire and a story or two. There is an air of peace and stillness in these evenings that the summer months cannot conjure in the same way.
The day's Winter light is so beautifully soft and gentle that those Autumn leaves, still reluctant to fall ground-wards, seem to glow from within. Like Nature's own fairy lights, they seemingly rest in mid-air.
In this month I delight in filling my home with greenery. The Holly and the Ivy, traditionally a symbol of Summer life in the darkness, for me, are just an excuse to blur the edges between the inside and outside, inviting the forest into my home, helping to satiate a compulsion to rest amongst wood, green and earth.
Our modern Christmas, if we are not careful, fills this time of peace and quiet into a mad rush of stressful spending and dutiful visits, as though we had no other time in the year to show our love and appreciation.
The painting below betrays my feelings towards this untimely hustle and bustle. Like a bear forced to come out of hibernation I am prone to grumpiness, but it is difficult to ignore Nature's fine vessel in which we travel through the seasons and the beauty that surrounds us.
A fine vessel filled with the Festive Spirit