On Tuesday this week we were kissed by our first hard frost. Oh it was worth the numb fingers to go outside and admire leaves, grass, flowers and trees in their crystal finery! Childishly watching my breath and grinning like it was Father Christmas rather than Jack Frost who had called, I teetered on the pain-pleasure border as I took these shots. This is a thin, brittle line nature plots; beautiful in its sparkle but dangerous in its slipperyness. Slightly sadistically, I welcomed what this sharp glitter would do to the garden pests whilst nervously pondering what it will do to the polytunnel’s inhabitants. This year has seen me become less benevolent towards slugs and snails, and a little obsessively overprotective towards the veg patch (which is currently looking its most productive all year).

I recently worked my first massage session following maternity leave. I encouraged each client to be aware of their shoulders in the cold weather; there’s a natural tendency to hunch them up and curl them forward. It’s like we’re hugging that warmth in, that last scrap of warmth. Pulling ourselves in to keep us all together; nurturing, protecting our heart space whilst spreading our back as a shield. It’s understandable. 
But to tense shoulders this hunching will probably lead! We need to circle, shake out, squeeze up and stretch; creating space between our bones and feeling it. We also need to wear long, chunky scarves, In this season, where we see our landscape harshly stripped back to its bare bones, we have the chance to feel space. Space that follows the busyness of springtime sowing, then the headyness of summer and then after the exhaustion of the rains, winds and/or work of autumn. November can seem such a miserable month; cold,wet,dark and – in the UK – with no festival yet to brighten and warm our hearts and homes. 

An alternative celebration can be to find and welcome that space; what has been lost or sacrificed to make way for the new? What can be created in these long evenings? What can be dreamt of for the coming year – and beyond? What can be nurtured, maintained or repaired so that it is ready to be reborn all freshened up and shiny? How exciting!

Stay cosy   

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