Thursday, 22 November 2018

First Frost

The alarm sounds and immediately we're all resistant, our senses telling us to remain curled in our thick blankets. We all take a few extra minutes processing what is to happen next, all except my husband. He rises quickly, fearful that slumber will steal him away again. Last night without realising the turn of the weather, I had already decided to gift the boys a bacon sandwich for breakfast. It was after watching my eldest lifting and dropping thick globules of congealed weetabix from his bowl the day before. A true sign of being 'weetabixed out', a signal to tag in something new. My heart hits a quickening pitter patter as the teenager looks me in the eye and utters words of thankfulness and gratitude and gives me one of those smiles that makes you filled to the brim, the sort of smile that you could draw on with a pencil, its just so perfect. I leave the house with layer upon layer, ready for my daily walk to work. Today the ground is glistening, cheekily shining and showing off its newly acquired armour. I step carefully, thinking especially of the tenderness in my right knee. As I walk I catch sight of the glorious low rising sun, she is magnificent today and the reddest I have seen in a long time. I mistakingly glance at her, mesmerised. She returns my gaze and leaves me with spots before my eyes and I delight in the nostalgia and think of girlhood and memories of playing in the heat of the African sun, a different friend. A different time. I walk on. Past the folks breathing out billows of smoke, their faces marked with the concentration of ice removal and the weary interruption of routine. The season is upon us and suddenly thoughts of festivities stir in me: the scent of cinnamon and orange, of Christmas cookies baking and homemade concoctions of warming alcohol. A mental note made to retrieve the wooden advent calendar from its loft hiding place, to begin a list of ideas for stockings that need filling with the lovely but simple things in life. My motivation motto that I use annually when buying gifts for those boys of mine: something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. It is still so fitting, still so perfect. Late night drives. Walks, short and long. Visits to the prettiest of villages with picture perfect scenes of decorated trees and sparkling lights. Thick socks and blankets and oodles of hot chocolates. Finding pubs with real fires and cosying in for shared puddings and warm drinks. Moments snatched for journalling. Time spent sat in silence amongst loved ones, each person doing their own thing. Books sifted through and perhaps even read. Letters written and perhaps even sent. Popping out on foot for items forgotten and left off the list that suddenly you can't do without. Films. Ahhh, dear films. All the favourites and the hope of some new. Coffee. Fresh, fresh coffee and the ritual of preparing it. The soundtrack of home. The promise of the new. Vinyl and pain au chocolat and scrabble and early mornings when there's no place to be and no rush to go. This first frost has stirred a-plenty and I am thankful for all that it is bringing my way. I'm swept up in the magic of the season, a Grinch no longer perhaps or for now at least.

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