Today before it got dark, we strode over the sodden field, down the hill towards the mist over the big pond. The field and the forest and the road and the sky were all muted grey and brown. Usually at this time, at the very least there is a bit of snowfall on the ground, and the temperature freezes your fingers and nose. This year it’s all drizzle and grey, melting into darkness in the mid-afternoon. I don’t actually mind it at all – there is a quiet beauty to it, if you are brave and rugged-up enough to venture out into the elements. The landscape is dreamlike in the fog, droplets of rain speckle the otherwise still water on the pond, the far end is shrouded in white. Trees reflect black in the water, and sounds seem muffled and distant – a car engine, the occasional crack of a hunter’s rifle.

This year, the lack of freeze and snow seems to be favouring some of the forest animals. As we huddle up by the fire underneath our twinkling Christmas lights, the wild boar outside are digging in the mud under the oak tree, looking for acorns and tasty roots and tidbits, and leaving behind huge patches of muddy moon-craters in our front yard. I can’t help wondering, though, whether it would be entirely positive to not have the freeze and snow that is usual for Latvia at this time.  Surely, like in Australia where bushfires are needed by certain species of trees in order to regenerate -  the ice and cold must serve its purpose… hmmm?



Striding down to the misty pond this afternoon, and lighting up some sparklers just for fun, I  couldn’t help also a small patch of reflection on the last year and that which is to come. The quiet, secretive calm and beauty of the winter country landscape is actually a good analogy for what I will try to find in the next year – I want to prioritize and make peace with moments of calm and regeneration within my own life. They may not be flashy, boastful moments, they will not be excitable, hyped thrills –  but much-needed moments of calm, and breath, and quiet, like nature taking its winter breather between periods of budding, flowering, fruiting…

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