3 days before the last new moon, the ground froze solid and so did the pipes. The stars hung down low among the bare branches of the alder trees. The frosty ground sparkled during the day and the starry sky sparkled at night, and for 10 days or more, we lived our lives between the twinkling landscapes of heaven and earth.
Shimmering new fern patterns appeared on the windows of the potting-shed every morning, glittering Jack Frost landscapes, gifts from those mysterious freezing winter nights. Inside, we kept the hearth fire burning, a pot of spiced tea warming on the wood-stove. Beside the fire, on a sheep skin rug, our beloved 16 year old cat Venus was leaving this world, and on the night that the moon went new, she passed away, my hands holding her tired body. Bless her, for we loved her so.
And then the snow came, it fell and it fell along with our tears, and everything turned white. It was exquisitely beautiful and deeply sad all at once, the way death is, the way winter can be.
And so, we put on our wooly clothes and we went out into it, down the driveway and into the woods, across the fields and up the road.
Gus leading the way, our white steed, our dragon-dog, galloping with the purpose and playfulness that only a dog in snow can know. And we laughed.
For days, we brushed snow off the poly-tunnel and the woodshed and the chicken coops.
We did this while the chickens clucked and scratched and made mandala patterns at our feet. It seems that chickens look particularly beautiful against a backdrop of white. (Organizing themselves in splendid ways to display their orange and black featheredness. Dividing into colour-coordinated-kaleidoscope-choreography. There is nothing quite like it.)
As for Mark’s oven, it stood like a monolith against the whiteness, solid and present and still.
Watching over a quiet Honey Grove, sleeping soundly, under a fluffy white comforter. Our farm was tucked in.
The bees in their hives, the bulbs in the earth, the people in their cozy little house.
Where summer flowers and braids of garlic and medicinal herbs are hanging from the rafters, reminding us of long warm days, their goodness stored away in jars for these cold wintry ones.
Yes, winter, it is here, and it is exquisite in it’s stark perfection.
And speaking of perfection, something quite wonderful has happened. A week ago (by serendipitous circumstance) Mark discovered two 6 month old kittens who were in need of a home. And well, it seemed that we were also in need of some kittens, and so, Jasper and Pepper came home with Mark, one day last week, after a bakery shift.
And they have moved in on Honey Grove. Again there is the sound of pitter-pattering-paws and of yule tree ornaments crashing down in the night.
There is the soothing rumble of afternoon purrs by the fire-side, and sweet morning meows insisting on breakfast. We are in LOVE with our new four legged friends. Gus does not seem to mind them either. Although, he was not so very interested in the couch-cuddling Jasper attempted with him the evening before last, but over all, he does not mind them one bit. And so we wish you the happiest of holidays~ May this find you sitting in front of a cozy fire somewhere, enjoying the magic of this season, surrounded by the ones that you love.
Blessings from the Honey Grove Hearth,
Nao and Mark, Gus, Jasper, Pepper and All at Honey Grove.