Tales from the Northern Forests


One kind word can warm three winter months.
(Japanese proverb)

The animals have put their thickest coats on to protect them from the cold. The flowers that raised their heads high to the sun in summer have sought shelter deep under the earth in their seeds and bulbs.
The trees - bare and barren - have drawn their energy way back to their roots. They wait and rest, gathering strength and energy for times to come.
The mighty oak grieves.
Frost shrivelled its leaves.

The lakeside splutters
under the weight of the flood
that washed away the lifeblood.
The pleasant wave mutters.

Winter is cold.
Want takes it hold.
Winter and Want are upon us;
either one, could kill us.

In Northamptonshire (UK) the freezing of open water is called Crizzle. The gleaming film of ice that cases twigs and grass-blades when a freeze follows a thaw is called 'amnil' in Devon (UK).
Snow scarts is the name of the long thin patches of snow that still lie in stream-cuts and lee hollows after a thaw in Scottish districts bordering England.

Winter is the time
for comfort, for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire.
It is the time for home.

(Edith Sitwell)

The days are short. People get up at the break of dawn to take full advantage of the few hours of daylight and go to bed early. Nights are long.
Midwinter  >>
Christmas  >>
January  >>
Perihelion, January 4th  >>

The moonlight - that beautiful reflection of sunlight - tells the time: it is time to rest and sleep but also to reflect.

Like the trees the people's outgoing nature and energy is reversed and now directed inward - to look at oneself.
The pure white of the snowdrops that show their delicate heads above the pure white snow serves as a reminder; this is a time for purification.

The Feast of Brighid, February 2nd:  >>
a Feast of Fire & Light and regeneration
February  >>
Valentine's Day  >>
Lent  >>

Spiritually cleansed and physically well rested they will be ready to spring into action again when Spring arrives.

Spring  >>

In winter she curls up around a good book >>
and dreams away the cold.
© Brigitte Franssen 2016
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