OK, so it’s a beautiful morning. Cold, about 1 degree when I got up. Just a touch of frost. The grass is very green and I can’t see a cloud in a very blue and crisp winter sky. The air is sharp, crystal and the light breeze has a bite that penetrates. Nonetheless (I love that word), it is a beautiful morning with the stripped bare deciduous trees revealed in their all their steak naked glory and the evergreen indigenous trees contrastingly clad in their full, puffed up grey green winter coats. It is a beautiful morning. It is silent except for the gentle rustle of that surprisingly penetrating soft wind. Oh, and the always there hushed background tumbling sounds of water spilling and falling, running and spinning, turbulent and dashing over flat granite shelves into rocky hollows and against small stray boulders pushed along by the intermittent pressure waves of variable winter flows as they surge with irregularity down the creek. It is a beautiful morning.
Against the cold I am wearing my favourite jumper. There is no heater on, just the layers of clothes capped by this marvellously insulating and cosy thickness of wool are keeping me warm. Lovingly knitted by my loving wife, it only really gets a look at the world in winter. It is too warm most of the time for wear in other seasons. I think that is what makes it all the more special. The built in love and warmth reflect its specialised purpose.
It is big and old, enveloping, creamy and embossed. These days it is a little on the stretched, sagging and droopy side (giving it a 10 on the affection scale – which as everyone knows is the top score for a jumper). It sort of hangs around me rather than is worn by me. In fact it could be called an affectionate jumper. The first of its kind and a quality to be aspired to and emulated by all knitters who learn of it.
The crew neck now has a cute little “V” shape from under which diverse collars can peek. Otherwise the knitting has held its pattern for years, making it sort of tight and loose at the same time. I love the detail of its repetition. This jumper has character. Maybe it even is a character in its own right. Yes, i think that is right, it has become a character in the story of my life because I have an emotional attachment to this jumper. We belong together. And that’s the way I like it.
the long grass dead brown the short grass stunted green faded blue skies with no summer bright sheen
grey come the clouds hanging low overhead heavy with moisture that will drop like lead
the air has a bite bitter snaps each night and each day frosted crisp icy as any day has been
the cold sodden earth awaits its rebirth fresh food supplies border on lean
as breath mists the air those rugged up don't care but the strugglers blanch at the scene
winter cold eats budgets of those who can’t afford it where constant warmth is but a seasonal dream
homeless under bridges in doorways and niches families living in cars huddle away unseen
as others drive over bridges secure in their riches to homes warm inner glow where no want has been
The dVerse prompt today came from Sanaa. She asked we poets to recognise August. We in the southern hemisphere may see it in a different seasonal light to that which Sanaa had in mind. However, one sad thing we do have in common around the world is the widening gap between the haves and have nots.
The cold can bite you here. It is sharp and crisp and penetrating. In the dark of a cloudless, moonless, star bright landscape, in the nocturnal brilliance of moonlit contrasts, in the shelter of a blackened room, it stabs through the bedclothes. It targets your knees or a hip, whichever joint is most elevated and least supplied with a warming blood supply. It ices your brain.
Then the morning comes. The frozen grass cracks under your feet. The birdbaths are glazed and crazed and the world is a wonderland of white light, of reflective crystals. It’s all worth it.
Then comes the sun. Gently rising over the tree lined eastern horizon, shafts start breaking through the cold barrier in scattered beams of raw illumination. Light sprays jump from each hoary crystal bed they touch. But just as quickly, just as they commence their flashy dance, they are replaced by translucent droplets, silvery and clear, mirroring the world around them in fresh formed globules like polished convex glass.
Then the rich, thermal bath of undiluted yellow sunshine begins. It bathes our world in a warming golden glow, washing from our memory the cold that was snapping at our heels such a short time ago. We revel in it. We revere it. We relish the transition from the sharp edged winter’s night to the slow, melting, immersive onset of another glorious North East Victorian winter’s day.