small steps, regular breathing

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Slow start of the year here but that’s the best we can do, feeling cold and tired often but thankfully confident and spirited, being quietly strong, for the children and for the animals, being quietly present and conscious, for me.

I recently opened a box of papers and letters that were shipped when my mother died—ten years ago next month, I found newspaper cuttings—secret messages from her to me to be unfolded and received—and also photographs and mementoes of her children. I found two enthusiastically forked carrots I had drawn and cut out as a child, they made me incredibly happy as I realized that I long ago started tugging at the one thread with some insistence, and that I can allow and forgive myself some slow unproductive days in the crook of this Winter’s neck, wishing the moss would not be so damp, knowing fully well what the hibernating animal version of me would do right now.

I am cooking old reliables of comfort foods, turning the stored pumpkins, garlic and oversized courgettes into brightly coloured soups. Being completely uninventive on a day-to-day basis but always in full appreciation of the joy to be found in the simplest meal, I make all our sourdough breads, deliciously toasted when it gets old, to be smothered in thick cold butter.

I think it is good to move slowly at this time, better to prepare for the jump into the Spring that I know will come—I have seen all the buds on the branches, I know all the life incased in them, the promise.

Aujourd’hui est un fauve, demain verra son bond.                   RENE CHAR

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