The fog closed in last night, the view from the window was suddenly foreshortened and we found ourselves suspended inside a cloud. The cloud seemed to settle firmly in my brain today, after a night of Neirin tossing and turning, the strangely dispersed light making it impossible to know what time it was. I woke feeling disorientated and couldn’t really shake off that feeling. Everything felt undefined, trying to apply order taking effort and energy. It felt like a day to drift and dream.
Standing out on the new deck, the damp air curling around my ears, woke me a little but made me want a cosy day; the inside seeming so inviting. So the fire has been tended and some apple sauce made, the smells of wood and apple creating and internal cloud of pleasant scent. After doing some school Huwyl made an ornament for the tree, the boys played and ran amok; but still I felt a little vague, concrete plans for the day eluding me.
The mild weather has brought more than fog with it, the earth on our homestead, already loose because of the build, is more like quicksand now. Everywhere I look there is mud, tracked in by boys, dogs and adults alike. Stephen build a fantastic dog area by the walkout so that we can contain them and give them a quiet place to retreat to aswell. It has worked beautifully and the house is less chaotic as a result, but the mud still gets everywhere. A simple trip to the chickens suddenly feels so much more complicated and much less fun. I’m hoping for a good freeze to make it all a bit cleaner and easier to navigate, though this does give us a taste of the spring conditions next year.
Finally I roused the troops, redressed Neirin (for the third time? the fourth?) and piled out in search of honey. I was totally out, not even a scraping left, giving me an excuse to visit a shop I’ve seen on the way down to Winchester further south. It was closer than I thought and after browsing for a while I wished I had brought my camera. The evidence of generations of beekeepers could be seen in old equipment and on shelves. The writing was from the 50’s, the jars from the 30’s, I was in love immediately. I bought a large jar of late season honey, darker with a rich flavour that comes from the wildflowers of late summer; I had just enough for a little candle aswell, something to light at dinner time to mark the transition to a quieter pace. Well that’s the hope.
The lady running the shop was the quintessential grandmother, like a Mrs Claus but with bees not elves. She gave us tastes of honey on sticks, like nature’s lolly pops. She fussed after the boys, patting them and forgiving their bumps and eager fingers. She told me her “first three children” were boys and when I asked she told me she had 6 children. I blushed internally at my impatience, my lack of fortitude as I imagined this maternal woman benevolently caring for her brood of honey children. But as I herded my two boys out of the door, hoping to avoid actual breakages, she patted my back and smiled kindly. Her eyes were warm and I felt understood, she had been there too. After all, we all have fuzzy days.
Some tv time for the boys gives me time for a cup of tea, flavoured by the beautiful honey with illicit christmas chocolates to soothe my hormonal and sleepy self. I think back over the day and am reminded of the sweeter moments, I think about the quiet that will descend after that candle has been extinguished and my boys are sleeping heavily in their beds. It makes me think I’d like to snatch a few more cuddles out of the remaining hours, some fuzzy snuggles to warm our evening.
Tonight there will be no dramatic sunset, the day will become just a little more grey, it will slip sleepily into night. It gives me permission for my own sleepy self, it tells me to stay fuzzy, to slip into dreams. Just one more cup of tea I think, and maybe one more chocolate. Or two.