winterheart

Now is the season for citrus and camellia, wayward skies and white seas. I watch the water blossom with dark wind and then ease again to cold stillness. I hear one bird singing in and wonder which species it is - then stop myself, because why does it matter? I wouldn't hear a man singing and wonder what his race was. The bird is itself.




It's the season for going out in sunshine and coming home rain-soaked. Earth seems like a woman in her lingerie, with her soft brown skin made heavy and lush by shadow, and her eyes full of secrets. I'll never really understand why this is considered the time of the crone. I think of Earth now as a wife who knows she is carrying new life but has not yet told anyone - waiting, wishing, dreaming, before she says the words.


13 comments:

  1. Beautiful captures, wonderful thoughts.

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  2. I cannot understand your winter - does it get cold, have the leaves fallen from the trees? You have hibiscus in flower, surely that is a summer plant. I find it very confusing. It seems nothing like our winter - explain Nz seasons to me :)

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  4. Well, part of the problem here is that I got the flower wrong. Not out of ignorance, but my brain doesn't work very well when I'm in a valley of my chronic illness, and sometimes I use the wrong words without registering it. It can be very embarrassing at times! Its one thing to say I'm going to put the laundry in the fridge, another to get a flower identification very wrong on a public forum, lol. Camellia, not hibiscus.

    It does get cold here, below zero some nights, and between minus degrees (celsius) to about 15 during the day, depending on where you live, and we have snow in many parts of the country. Leaves fall from the trees, most flowers disappear. But NZ is a country of mountains and long coastlines, so the climate can be quite variable. My daisy bush continues to thrive, whereas my mother's has succumbed to frost.

    This winter has been warmer than usual, although I still sit with a hot water bottle.

    Our seasons usually go like this: a lovely fresh springtime with lots and lots of wind and sudden rainstorms, a very long muggy summer - at least five months long, with temperatures in the 30s (degrees celsius) in many places, and up to 100% humidity for weeks at a time - a couple of weeks of autumn if we're lucky, and then a winter whose intensity depends on where you live in the country.

    It never used to be like this. Summer used to be bearable and not too long. I've seen a definite change in my lifetime. Last week, I found blossoms on trees which still had brown winter leaves - it was very scary and unnatural. Usually we don't start seeing blossom until a few weeks into spring. Climate warming has caused other obvious changes too. Its worrying.

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    1. Thanks Sarah - I have a clearer picture now. Here in England we do have four definite seasons, although they are not as definite as they used to be. It is worrying that these changes are gradually occurring - you do have to wonder where it will all end. I have just been reading a blog post from Portugal where they have no rain since May, here we are having an excruciatingly hot few days, unusual for us, I must have lots pints of fluid in perspiration. :(

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  5. Thanks so much for this explanation Sarah - like Elaine, I was curious about your NZ Winter... The climate's changing here too, just as you describe - dead leaves and blossom on the same tree twig... It's scary, unnerving, deeply unnatural. Even in my 52 years on this earth, I've seen immense change - my childhood winters were harshly wintery, summers were wildly summery - but not any more :(

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    1. In my childhood we had seasonal moderation. Now the year is dominated by summer. Our winters get a bit cold in their middle, but otherwise are relatively warm. I remember going to school on -2 degrees days. Now winter is about 15 degrees on average. It breaks my heart because it is just so wrong, so scary, so irreversible.

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  6. Sarah, I found my way to your blog earlier today, and your remark about the bird resonated deeply with me. It's an old family joke that, although I'm fascinated by birds, I can only identify 5 or 6 species by name (the most common ones, of course), while my parents will obsessively pore over books whenever they meet with an unfamiliar one until they know its species and sex with 100% certainty. I honestly don't see the point... and you've made me realize that's precisely how I view people as well. Each an individual, each precious.
    It's lovely to read your words.

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    1. And lovely to meet you, Danielle :-)

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  7. I can't adequately express how your writing of our Southern seasons affects me. And yes, NZ is so different to Australia, I know, but NZ is bone-and-womb familiar to me. So your writing of that landscape speaks to my marrow. That another exists in these rhythms, and intuits this feminine plenitude that lies in the heart of our Winter...it's a way home - to my other strange, soul-home, in a way. Apologies if that sounds odd, or intense. xx

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    1. Actually it sounds wonderful and I am so glad you told me, thank you <3

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  8. I so often think that when I walk through my beloved forest... what is that flower? Who is singing that beautiful bird song? Then I realize how irrelevant the label is.. when you see the essence of that being, and you feel a sense of oneness...that's all that really matters.

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