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Pushing Back the Fear of Darkness

Let us Love the Winter, for it is the spring of genius

Pietro Aretino Winter is coming to our island. As each storm marches up the strait and chops the bay of my home into white capped lines, punctuated by fans of spray over the rocks and logs heaved on the shore, I push back the feeling to flee, to take flight.  

Skyward a skien 30 plus is silenced by the strain of headwind.  Though they push onwards with faithful intelligence, it seems they are motionless, suspended by the resistance of their outstretched wings.

 I think of the Ne Ne who chose to stay in that distant warm place; the memory of cold darkness long forgotten.   Retreating into my home, I  eye the sickening sway of our Great Ponderosa Pine, her arms flailing her head, lolling at the winds dominion. Preparing for the unexpected gust of havoc daring to rip from my hands, I Lock the door on the invisible intruder. Senses heightened from this sudden shift, I take in the warmth of my home. I can feel my coldness mix and dissipate, a tingling of haptic memory.  Now is rustling of coats and boots to their cubbies, muffled wind, the groan of our house as it endeavors to shelter. This is a new season and our nerves have not grown numb,  my girls grab at me with fright when the wind makes a sudden shift that causes our house to creak. Our eyes widen, when we feel the roof being pulled or the rain slaps  the side of our house.  Even the animals want to be reassured. Elderly dog and junior mouser, who are normally affectionate are now downright needy. They move through out the house as constant companions at my feet and on my lap.  My girls share this sentiment and I understand. Many times a night my eyes stare wide,  as I listen for the downing of a tree. Always calculating the distance and length in relation to the rooms inhabitants and direction of prevailing wind. Early this year, I harvested the first blossoms of our Golden Chain. I made beautiful yellow resin bangles that day. Gleeful for the early spring and burst of fuel to my craft, I went to harvest more the next morning. To my surprise and ominous horror the tree had blown over in the night only 4 feet from our house. The wind must have drowned out its fall, for we heard nothing to alarm us. There are now only 3 trees that could take our home, one is the 60 foot Ponderosa Pine this would take out the flat roof and some of the kitchen, the other two are tall and scrubby pines that stand together, these would be caught by the attic storage but cary a path directly over our master bedroom.  These are the two I calculate in the middle of the night. These are the reason I am reluctant to move my brood from the fire. In the early darkness, I stoke the coals and stack more wood.  I gather my children, fur babies and all, for the long goodnight.  We loose the remote. We talk of dreams and deeds. We draw. We read.  This week I have added reading glasses and my little one thinks them more novelty than necessity. Impishly she grabs them from my face and smudges the lenses.   We wait for husband/ father to come home, to appear from the darkness. When he does. it is sudden and without herald. Gone are the days of lingering light and evening bird song. Gone are the evenings that elderly dog lifts her head and barks to announce his distant approach. The light from our Southern windows and glass door illuminate only what is immediate. There is no moon and the stormy sky smothers all starlight. Beyond the glow of our stoop is the black void and rushing wind. Beyond our familiar is the limitless ocean of creation.   When the wind breaks and my thoughts are my own, into this well I dip my cup. Images float up and and I consider the possibilities. I formulate the execution, list the skills and items necessary for each undertaking.

This is the Dreaming Season.

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