Cold rain falls, almost sleet, almost snow. Bare branches trace the sky. The clouds have settled over the hills; the valley is enclosed in winter. Across the street, in early morning, one house glows from one string of Christmas bulbs along the roofline. A bicyclist hunches against the damp and pedals quickly down the street. Inside, beans reach for the light against the glass panes, spider plants tumble off of the light shelf, strings of white fairy lights brighten the seats near the chilly windows. The Christmas cactus blooms. Art covers the walls. Students make tea, clutch the warm mugs in their hands. We gather together to read, to write, to think, to share ideas.
It’s been a busy week. I’ve been to three meetings related to the coming council season, done some CEA work, sent a few emails about the political scene. At the same time, every time I fall behind on sleep, the cold that settled in my sinuses a month ago sends my head spinning; I spent half of the freezing rain day on the couch, knitting my final stash- reducing project for the year, trying to steady my inner ears. This time of year is all about looking both ways, trying to embrace the change of season, the moving into the dark times, while not just hiding out for two months.
On Saturday, the sun came out for the morning. I rose at six thirty to roll out the Lucia Day buns while Mark made quarts of cocoa. We gathered oranges, a sheet of still warm rolls, and our heavy sweater to head out to Bald Hill. Light sparkled on the twigs and the grass as we walked towards the open framed barn. For once, the candle remained lit, a tiny light against the dawn. We hug mugs of cocoa, munch Lucia Day buns, watch the dog chase a stick, talk quietly. After an hour, we wander towards the woods, climb the hills, bask in the sun at the top. We can see the entire valley below. So lovely. A few people peel oranges, bright in the morning sun. The sun will come back again.