“ Time is a game played beautifully by children.” – Heraclitus, Fragments
As the last days of the old year fall away, I’m still feeling the festive spirit, especially when I come across an unexpected twinkle-lit window, move among the many shoppers still crossing things off their lists or glance at the glow of the moon nestled against the starry sky. It bubbles up with each holiday card that finds its way pinned to the verdigris garden lattice in our plant corner, knowing that the kitchen cupboards are bursting with winter teas, luscious chocolate, and savoury crackers – these are the days of yuletide revels where dark red wine, nostalgically spiced almond nog and icewine flow, creating warm worlds between the hours. The very air is filled with magic, tendrils of wood smoke and lit candles nudging people home to put the kettle on, light a candle of their own or curl up to read a good book.
This holiday season I received a lovely hand-painted pine wine box from my Mom that sits beneath my bedroom vanity, holding winter books waiting to be opened. I purchased one of the books from my father’s beloved bookstore early in December when I dropped off a holiday card for his favourite bookseller. We used to take a taxi up to West Broadway to wander the stacks, choosing books together while taking in all the colour clamouring for our attention. There were tears and hugs that day but it was a pilgrimage worth taking amid all the hustle and bustle, I’m looking forward to a mid-winter visit to add another new read to the box!
Closer to home, there’s an old wood house painted dark green where a bright pink rhododendron bush blooms no matter the season – I often walk by, drawn to another warm world between hours. Behind the large picture window is beautiful soft lighting, healthy green plants and a few much-loved objects lying just so on the many surfaces surrounding what looks like, a very comfortable couch. There is usually someone reading there, with knees up and dark head bent over unknown pages, revealing even more tantalizing worlds.
It seems that winter tales and hours have chased away the spectre of grief, replaced by the scent of honey and jasmine, outliers of spring bringing hope and new light – and here’s me, with notebook in hand, just waiting…