It is raining. I look out on the maple, where a few leaves have turned yellow, and listen to Punch, the parrot, talking to himself and to the rain ticking gently against the windows.
Journal of a Solitude
It was a white world yesterday. A dark green / brown smudge of a world today. And it might well have been a parrot quietly talking to himself as, already soaked, I marched up the hill, grateful for absence of ice.
‘Weather’ – actual and metaphorical – changes our perspective on everything, every day. Seasons and their reasons touch our lives anew. Warm sunlight quickly conjures one kind of wellbeing, wind and rain will freshen the air we’re breathing, ice and snow turn landscape into wonderland – at least for a while, and home’s warmth and hot chocolate raise a smile.
Twenty or more years ago I read one of the most beguiling openings to a novel. One that I’ve never forgotten since. It’s simple and descriptive – but more than that, there’s a deep noticing, deep awareness, and therein lies the promise of seasons, the perpetual invitation to breathe deep and to be fully ALIVE in each one:
The church bell, cracked and faint, struck seven as Anna opened her eyes. She closed them again, and waited for the second bell to chime, three minutes later. Then she got out of bed and pushed open the shutters of her window. High up in the air, swallows hawked lazily across the pale blue dome of the sky. A cool breeze, smelling of thyme and wood-smoke, flowed over her bare shoulders and she stretched her arms over her head and inhaled deeply, filling her lungs with the aromatic air.
From her high window, she looked down over the roofs of the village, across the vineyards and cherry orchards towards the grey-green rolling country of the garrigue, with the pale lavender, jagged outline of the Cévennes in the distance …
The Golden Year
Yes. Raining this morning. But this afternoon, tomorrow, next Spring and Summer? Anna opened her eyes. She closed them again, and waited …