Setting out in darkness with shards of glassy snow crunching below my boots, shed from the starry heavens, daylight soon seeps in sweet rose across a world that’s been iced by a million confectioners.
Robins fly about as tiny rusted feather-balls with dark marble eyes. One sits on the frosted dry-stone wall and starts to chirp, teaching me their song to brighten the morning.
The stags’ breath journeys in long streams above the cracking soil with antlers gleaming silver under a bright, cold sun. The herd huddles together, seeking warmth.
A lone buck joins them from across the dell, his hooves nimble like a dancer’s on an icy rink. We share the open meadow trying to capture some light on our hides as the few crisp dead leaves glow as cuts of coppery metal from steel branches, beautiful but cold.
This is mid-winter. The world is at its coldest, the source of all life withdrawn while all empty shells of old are whipped away under time’s unforgiving broom. And so we wait and gather thought and strength, appreciating each hour’s sunshine and the company we keep.