Friday, December 19, 2008

The Journey

Pull on the woolen mittens, wrap the shawl tightly. It is time for the journey into winter.
For six months now, the iridescent curtains of the earth have been slowly closing. The unseen, pale blue hand has moved them, bit by bit, an infinitesimal distance towards the center, shutting out the light in minute amounts each and every evening since the month of June. On this very weekend he stands back to admire his handiwork. With wizened hands on hips, he smiles his ancient silver smile as he observes the many hours of darkness, the iced moon hanging in a starry sky, taking up its lofty post earlier this weekend than at any other - the fewest hours of the sun - the shortest day of the year. It is complete, and he is most pleased, for he has once again fashioned Winter. White grey, silver blue, Winter.
And yet, he does not trouble us. As we make our way into his boreal creation, our provisions are sufficient. For even in the piercing cold of the bleakest of mid-winters, there is such warmth to be found. True friends, glowing fireplaces, fuzzy slippers, furry faces. Cinnamon toast, spiced tea. Days spent in cozy kitchens where copper kettles sing and savory soups simmer atop cherry red stoves - with nights burrowed snug under tartan blankets, lost inside the crisp pages of adventurous books.
Oh yes, we are quite prepared for this journey, for we have taken it before. And well we know, even now, as the old man takes his leave, rightly satisfied with his design, a smooth and tiny hand, the colour of peridot, is reaching for those curtains, ready now to pull them, bit by bit, every so slightly, open.

Painting above: Atkinson Grimshaw