Empty

Storms are coming through again. The weather turned sticky hot and then freezing again, not unusual in this strange climate where winter means windy battles of heat and ice. 

Anticipating the rain last week, I sowed by hand 315 lbs of rye, clover, and radish seeds all over the pastures.  It took me until after dark, tossing handful after handful of seeds in careful, spreading arcs into the twilight all heavy with clouds. No stars, no moon, but above me was full of light and clouds shapeshifting through the violet sky. 

So often I have been dreaming of my friend we lost a few weeks ago. Dreams where I miss him just as he was leaving, or he is smiling right before me but unreachable. Life can seem so hard and unfair sometimes, when good people are lost too soon. 

After all my seeds were cast to an unknown fate in the darkness, I walked up to the night-shadowed garden to pick greens for supper. The cats came too, slipping around my ankles as I walked, only the white parts of them visible. 

In the darkness the garden looked like a dream filled with green mist, a landscape that hovered between here and nowhere. 

A mushroom consumed by mold from the damp

Everything was indistinct, uncertain, unfamiliar. A few steps later and the edges of the beds seemed to form themselves out of the formlessness, and everything sharpened into the familiar edges of leaves and stems and paths. I always try to remember that there is so much more to this world than meets the eye. 

 In the middle of all the holiday celebrations, i just feel so empty, looking at a great deep pit of missingness, wishing so much that i could reach through the veils of time and death. I keep getting caught up in the mundane busyness, and find myself thinking, “oh I should ask PJ about that!” And then i remember i can’t. 

Our modern Christmas is such a full whirl of things and parties and sugar and expectations.  It’s really how the late summer feels after the harvest – high and busy and full of sweet fruits and stacks of pumpkins.

No, i think we have it all wrong. Winter is for emptiness. It’s the bleak, open landscape, the white skies and long, restful nights. It’s the time to leave space and rekindle the hearth. 

The fire always needs an open heart to burn. I just realized the truth of this a few cold evenings ago, in my smoke- filled kitchen, struggling with the burning logs of the cook-fire that had lodged themselves together and were smoldering into charcoal. 

 It’s coming to terms with that ache of letting go that leaves space for the new, green life force that comes in its time. 

I don’t have any recipes or much to share this week, just a few strange pictures of things here and about, and leaving a little space here. 

Wishing you a cozy week!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Maria says:

    Yes, I feel it too. As someone at PJ’s memorial said, “When I found out, an empty space I didn’t know I had opened up in my heart.”

    Liked by 1 person

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