Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Through a door buried deep in the woodland, one carved by the ancients on a day long ago, the Old Man enters. Gone are the casual visitors now - the springtime picnics, the cotton lawn dresses that danced through the clearing on mid-summer’s eve.
The forest belongs to the Old Man once more.
He steps cross the threshold and smiles as he drinks in his lifeblood of sharp December air. Slowly he strolls down a pine-needled pathway, where the mummified leaves of his brother-season, only just now departed, still occasionally crackle neath his suede covered feet, while all around him ancestral trees stretch their ebony arms up, up to the leaden grey sky far above.
His silver blue robes trail behind the Old Man like peacock feathers, leaving snowflakes and ice crystals along in their wake. He claps his delicate hands, only once, and the light from the sun, so recently golden, suddenly changes to alabaster - becoming one with the snow covered scene, it sets all beneath it aglow with the fire of ice.
The tiny ones, nearly invisible and brief as a wish, return once again, to dance with the Old Man at twilight, as the snowy owl glides through the wind, as silent as a reflection.
Tangled up as they are in strings of fairy lights and clefs of carols, the humans are unaware of the magic reception just now unfolding within the dark woods. Yes, Old Man Winter has arrived, having completed his wanderings on the other side of the orb, and the landscape belongs to him now.
So put down the pudding spoon!
Come and celebrate!
Run through the white meadows, skate paisleys over the frozen ponds.
Celebrate, with bells on the horse's halter, ribbons round the white dog’s neck... with bright eyes and pink cheeks, with mittens and scarves, firesides and hot chocolates.
For after all, as the wise Old Man teaches,
if we never know cold, how can we hope to recognize warmth?
Welcome, welcome!