Monday, 27 December 2010

The book

I felt a bit tired of the ongoing winter and festivities today.

The winter, although technically only a few days old seems ageless and drags its slow, decrepit, icy body in a stiff walk. You become impatient and wish it would hurry up, loosen up and be on its way.

The house feels too warm, outside too cold and flickers of irritation settle like dust on the mantlepiece.

You want to rest but too much needs done. The children bicker and need placating. The Farmer is preoccupied and a bit cross. He worries that the ground is now so frozen, it will be months before it thaws enough to accept a crop.

The Farmer takes the children and PieDog for a walk and I choose to stay at home.

I'm not sure where to make a start as the entire house needs blitzed but I begin in the living room and eventually it begins to look acceptable. I allow the icy wind into the warm living room, just to freshen things up and for a moment they seem unsure whether they should mingle or remain in separate factions like my blood family at the weddings or funerals of strangers.
The icy wind no longer hesitates but rushes in and seeks out every corner. It has a sweet smell of honey and rapidly dominates the room.
I quickly close the window and the fire blinks in surprise as if to ask "What just happened?"
The chill wind has left a freshness but there is no hint of warmth nor the promise of Spring. "Not quite yet", it mocks.

I find a book under the pile of clutter on the table. Clutter shaped into a sculpture by large and small hands. It seems a pity to destroy its amorphous shape somehow as it illustrates the gathering of important things to each member of the family. Each object has helped us on the journey through the dark months.

The book is completely empty inside. The pages smell fresh as if they too were hastily embraced by the icy wind.
I stare for a while and then begin to see what is written.

I see notes and plans on our future year. Our optimism that the crops will be accepted by the ground.
I see childish drawings of fabulous creatures and impossible buildings and boxes with wheels which become the very latest Massey Fergusson.
There are shopping lists and memos of dates which will seem Very Important. There are phone numbers and addresses.
There are dreams written down hastily in the middle of the night so I can remember them in the morning.
Private thoughts and quotes which wrench a chord in your heart; they are all there.

The pages are as virginal as the fresh snow which has fallen outside and has yet to be walked on. You know the ground is there somewhere and trust that it will bear your weight, your burdens and carry you safely to your destination.

The book has the potential to articulate your day and plans for the future. It has the potential to share some of your burden. Your secret, whispered thoughts.

I hope the next year passes as smooth as the new pages of the book or will it be like the old book, bashed, fat with mementos, lists, battle scarred and weary...

I hope for the former.

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