The skies these days are swaths of slate grey unfurling like skeins of wool through the ashy white fog. I’ve bundled away the summer shoes, and pulled out the thick down comforter, and baked more bread, and strung the dark corners of the house with tiny lights to brighten the chill.
Normally not a lover of these bleak months, I feel, surprisingly, rather content. The wind trembling through the hills suits me fine. In the day, ravens gather in the field across the road, raucous in their gossiping. At night, after locking up the chickens, I sometimes stand out by the garden fence and sweep my small beam of light towards the dark forest of pine and cedar that surround our fields. I look for the gleam of wild eyes reflecting back at me, and for whatever else is out there. I wonder at all the things I can not see, but hear and feel all the same.
The ground is mud now, sucking thickly as I tromp through it. The sky is rain.
And yet, I have the grace to know I’m happy here. Even as the hemlocks drip wetly onto my face and shoulders, even as the fierce and feral things pad deftly on the fringes of what’s known.
Here is light through the windows. Here is where kittens and children curl by the hearth, and ducks greet me in the morning. Here is shelves filled with food we grew and work we did. Here are a lifetime’s worth of dreams and plans and memories. Here is the last month of the year, and the beginning of all the rest.
Here is home and comfort, in this steadfast and wild place.