How complex you are.
What do you mean to me, month of new hope, yet of such easily broken rules?
I stand at my living room window, sometimes for a minute that stretches into twenty, looking out over the view that has been mine for the past few months and I feel glad for the time here. To reflect, to become intimate with another piece of land, to watch the birds as they come day after day after day.
They eye me with only a little suspicion now and choose to stay rather than fly away and I think; “I shall miss you; timid Blue Tit, bold Great Tit, proud Tree Sparrow, calm Robin, my playful gang of Long-tailed Tits and of course, my illusive but self-assured Woodpecker who graces me with his presence only some days.
I shall miss you.”
I wonder – I hope – that the new residents will feed them, but then I think about how there still aren’t any new residents because everyone who has visited has found the lack of central heating, the dated kitchen, the almost-outside-bathroom, disagreeable, and that makes me sad. I am sad that most people don’t look to the view as I did, don’t imagine what it might be like to lay in bed on a late Summer’s evening listening to nothing but the trees rustling (it’s beautiful) and the birds singing. And I pity them. Pity those who rush around for hour after hour, retreating to sealed boxes from which they can hear nothing, feel nothing, see nothing. Life is out here, you know… and I need to feel it to be alive, even if it’s cold, unforgiving and painful; I need to feel it.
And January, how I have felt you and how painful you have on occasion been. With your - at times - unforgiving dreary weather (who ever thought January would be a good year for resolutions?) and haze that has hung over us as we have walked together; mustering up the energy from somewhere deep down to trudge about day after day when really all I have wanted to do is curl up inside and knit or watch the fire dancing.
Perhaps we should take our lessons from animals that bit more. Those animals that shut these cold months out and hibernate. They are not stupid enough to think that it is both possible and entirely a good idea to run around like crazy (or renovate a narrowboat in my case) at this time of year. No, they are smart enough to stockpile food and hunker down.
January, next year I just know we will get along better because I plan to do just that.
But, in saying that, we have not got along too bad this year. I enjoyed your bracing temperatures and amazing blueness during a trip to Norway and I have willingly allowed you to drift over me sometimes in your less than cheerful manner. I have gone with that, because that’s what you are about, aren’t you? You say “YES! You are allowed to feel this way. Don’t beat yourself up!”
So I do, and I haven’t and for that, I thank you.
I have found myself standing in a shop queue, lost and dazed, wondering, “what am I doing here?” So I have taken your advice, left and gone to walk around a lake, through woodland, across fields, and I have felt much better.
‘Listen to nature’ I repeat to myself for she guides me in the right direction every . single . time .
Nature; she who doesn’t judge me for my downfalls, never sneers at my attempts to be kind and always lifts my spirits.
I think to myself, ‘Alice, you should never again venture out into that other world, not in January. That world of concrete and fast cars, of bright lights and busy people.’ Because in that world I feel only alone, which is ironic because I am more alone here, in the trees, and yet as I spy a hare staring at me from across a lane I realise that here is where I feel wanted, at ease, myself. I do not need to prove myself or try to be anything in the midst of the animals, the landscape. They feel my love, compassion, adoration, with only my presence and so I can cry tears here, laugh here, run free here – in nature – without worry.
I am a better person here.
So January, next year I will try to give you what you want. Myself – in your arms. I will try not to feel rushed along with others or busy myself with this or that. Instead, I shall simply be. Beneath your empty branches, your grey sky, and I will rest when you say, to the sound of birdsong.
Thank you Keryn at Walking On Travels. Helen at Downland Views. Dearest Meg. Peggy at Narrowboat Wife. Henrietta at Angel Wings and Herb Tea. My lovely Lindz. Catherine at Withenay Wanders. Selina at The Mucky Root.
I always love reading your comments and connecting with you, so thank you all for taking the time to stop by and say hi :-)