05 December 2011

December and Pause

December - the darkness really making itself felt now... Solstice is on its way though - a beacon just ahead. As ever, as I struggle with the short days and the lack of light, I look for the positive... and it has to be said that some of the sunrises recently have been very beautiful, and since they're so late, you don't miss them. Usually Iz and I are on our morning walk when the sun comes up, or just after. Last Thursday morning had a stunning sunrise, all the clouds tinted an improbable and glowing series of reds and roses. C reported the sky below was greenish in contrast. Couldn't be seen from where I was alas, too many houses in the way.

That same morning, I saw a bee busy in the Mahonia down at the Luas stop. You can't see the bee in the photo, but it's nice to have Mahonia and Ivy in an otherwise rather drab setting. Mahonia is a great shrub (I've some in the garden too): it's evergreen, some varieties are subtly scented, the bees love the flowers--and they must be doubly welcome on warm winter days when there's little else in bloom--and the birds (blackbirds particularly in my garden) adore the bluey-black berries.

On Friday, I worked in the garden for a couple of hours, just tidying up really. But I just needed to be out there. Amongst others, the beautiful Molinia caerula "Transparent" finally had to go. It is *such* an exquisite grass, and every garden should have some, if only for that moment some morning in late summer when every florescence bears its own dew- or raindrop, a tiny bit of sky suspended in each one. Without the dew, the flowering heads simply form an almost transparent purplish mist of their own. Not bad... In the autumn the grass fades to pale cinnamon and glows warmly in the late season sun. But there does come a time when it has to go, and this week was that time. The Sedum went too, the Achillea, and various other bits and bobs.

And so the garden descends into proper winter silence now. A pause. In yoga/meditation, we learn about that pause between the in- and the out breath that holds a stillness. This is what it's like in the garden now, writ large: the pause between the letting go of autumn and the gathering force again of spring. Winter stillness. Winter still.

Over the weekend, the warm weather (according to Met √Čireann: Phoenix park report[ed] its warmest November since the station opened in 1855 (156 years)) finally came to an end, and our walk this morning was, well, bracing... This evening's walk even more so, but moonlit. What I saw when I took this photo was the moon shining through the branches of a large oak tree; no really. Shows the limitations of a phone-camera :-).

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