Sunday, 20 January 2013

The woods are lovely, dark and deep...


The woods are beautiful in the snow.  Well, woods are always beautiful but, in snow, they become primeval.  As you crunch the slim tracks through trees you could imagine the wolves were running.  Silent shadows, sliding past out of the corner of your eye.  Your head knows they don’t exist but your heart smiles at their subterfuge.
But really, here and now, there are deer, small herds of hinds. Startled, they stare, wide-eyed, then leap away.  A small dog in pursuit.  But no deerhound he. 
In the fields, by the river, the drifts are deep.  The water runs yet, too fast to freeze.  The gate has been snaggled with barbed wire. A pass-knot.  I unpick, fingers numbing. Patience, caution. Winter is a time of circumspection. No grand gestures now.  We do the small things we need to survive.  Remembering ancestors huddled round the fire.

And small things please.  Outside the kitchen door, a line of little icicles, a delicate fringing.  One pink flower remains. Embraced by ice. 
Back inside, I’ll build a fire.  A tent of twigs.  The ancient campfire.  Outside the snow falls still. Inside the fire keeps the bite of winter tamed. Just.

But before that, I pause. Type this with one dog perched on my lap.  His nose settled between my knees. His body warm. Both of us enjoying the comfort. Wolf turned tame.  The other?  Maybe not so much.  :)

13 comments:

Frances said...

Jane, you've taken me right with you into the woods, and just as the chill was reaching my bones, had the wisdom to return homeward.

The icy pink bloom makes a lovely contrast. Nature is such an artist!

I love the photo of you on the sofa with those affectionate pups.

No snow here. We might have flurries tomorrow afternoon. xo

Midlife Singlemum said...

Beautiful - the scenery and the description.

solange noir said...

Beautiful photos. The flower is especially precious.
Love the photo of you and the pups :)
xxx

Greta said...

Lovely photos and lovely words to go with them.

Tyson said...

Catching up, Jane. Missed your blogs. My internets have been, how can I say, compromised. Am over the moon to have a moment to read your musings. xoxox

Ross Mountney said...

A real joy of a post! x

Jaxbee said...

Lovely! And agreed, love the snow, particularly the eary, peaceful thud you get when you pace through it on your own

Marianne said...

And miles to go before I sleep...
For just the reasons you describe I don't walk the dog alone in the woods. Too much imagination.

Rob-bear said...

Your description of the woods brought to mind Frost's poem, to which Marianne alluded. My kind of "place," when the water never quite freezes, the fire heartens body and soul, and the wolves are tame. More or less.

Jocelyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jocelyn said...

Being out in extreme cold always takes my fancy to times well before these--when just staying alive was a full day's work. I'm in Northern Minnesota, in the States, and it's so cold here right now that they've closed the schools this week. I find myself thinking of those who didn't have synthetic fibers, who were just trying to keep a fire alive in a cave, and it blows my mind that humanity has persisted!

CAMILLA said...

Beautiful words and pictures to your post Jane.

Adore the pic of you with two dogs, Asbo Jack looks soo much like my Daisy Boo.!

xx

dadwithtwokids said...

Your words have a lovely flow :)