Image: © Davy D Writer
“That’s what winter is: an exercise in remembering how to still yourself then how to come pliantly back to life again.”Ali Smith
Winter is upon us in the UK, at least the meteorological version. Astronomical winter arrives on Wednesday, the 21st of December 2022. If you are an autumn lover there are still three weeks to embrace the season.
The word winter has remained unchanged in the English dictionary for a thousand years. It is derived from the Germanic word, wintruz, and the Indo – European root, wend or wed, (wet) which is why winter was often referred to as the wet season. In early medieval England, winter started on the 7th of November, and as we have just had the wettest November since records began, perhaps the old methods may have been a better way of determining the seasons.
Time For Slowing Down
It is that kind of mixed-up feeling that has followed me as I write this post. I read an excellent piece of writing on Instagram earlier this week, from @rosa.g.words. Rosa talked about how we may have lost contact with the changing of the seasons, ignoring the signs that different seasons bring. Winter is a time of slowing down, recharging batteries. Flora, fauna, and wildlife recognise these signs. Humans, we carry on at the same breakneck speed for 365 days of a year.
I’ve long felt that we were meant to hibernate, and winter is a continual push against nature’s circadian rhythms. Our ancestors appeared to have been better connected and slept more in the colder months. I did put something to sleep this week, the first draft of my novel. After two years I finally got it finished, all 117,000 words. My editor has suggested creating some distance so I can return to it with fresh eyes in the spring.
That will leave me with more time to write, sleep, and relax. What will you be doing this winter? As you ponder, here is one of my poems about winter, and a video to accompany it. Have a good weekend.
Winter She dropped in last night, it had been a while. I missed her at first, too busy slaying dragons And saving the world. Her calling cards Of white blankets and grey sky fired the child in me. Visions of snowball fights and snowmen drew me outside, Her icy breath coating my throat and nostrils. In the surrounding silence she pulled me to the floor, Arms and legs moving like Angels. We played for hours, Sliding, cavorting, until her burning touch forced me away. As green pools appeared on her silken dress, she started To withdraw. In a state of panic, I grabbed what remained.