Bleak, but a corner has been turned. I could feel it this morning after I walked the kids in to school.
Some mornings, that is the lowest point of my day. The sky is still dark; the air, cold; I’m reminded of friends who have moved away I no longer see in my morning perambulations; this reminds me of friends left behind stateside; I know the day ahead is likely to be gray and gray again, then fully dark well before the kids are home again. Grief rumbles. My bones ache, I turn weak, and it takes my all to keep walking when I want to crawl under a tree and stare comatose into the clouds. This is the terrible admixture of loss, expat angst, and seasonal affective disorder.
But, hey! Not today! And, I realized as I found a slight spring in my step on the walk away from school today, not for at least a week now. So congratulations to me, or to England, or to something. I believe I’ve made it through the worst of another winter.
Here’s another small snapshot from the church in Northleach. A candle lit in the bleak midwinter for the memory of my grandmother. Or for myself. Or for you, should you need it.
You know. You know where I went already. You know because I go there near about every solstice — summer and winter — and I just mentioned it last week, again. And because there are rocks in my head and I live in circles. Yes — back to the Rollright Stones.
I love the view from here.
But, what we did not expect to find:
ER … MAH … GERRD
My beloved/feared witch has finally fallen. And appears to be the pot at the end of the rainbow. Good luck, strange witch, in the future’s compost heap.
Again the reminders that other circling travelers like to visit this time of year. It’s a comfort, really, to know I’m not the only one.
They even left poetry for the Whispering Knights, in a gesture I can’t help but approve.
Stones and circles in my head, what can I say?
Here’s a quick review of 2013 — and let’s be honest, this post is mostly here so you won’t think I’ve died and stopped blogging. (In contrast to dying and continuing to blog, also a possibility.)
The 2013 most-viewed-in-a-day post was this photo-tour of my crossfit box (which was also one of the top posts for 2013).
The most popular post from 2013 overall was a recipe for oat flour pancakes. You pinterest-y people seem to have found it, and have been pinning it here and there. Thanks!
The post which generated the most discussion this year was my farewell to my mother, who died in April. Thank you, dear readers, for making the time to speak to me on that day.
I was not as prolific in 2013 as I had been in 2012. Three posts I enjoyed writing, which I think sum up where I’ve been this year, are In majesty of mud, Worth waking up, and On the right foot. Of my various day out posts, Croome Court might be my favorite post result, although The Rollright Stones and Pi=yum sums up a day I could repeat over and over with perfect contentment. (I did visit the stones four times this year!) When the sun shines, Witley Court, and Cotswold Drive are three posts I’ve returned to during these dark months to remind myself that the sun really does shine in England … sometimes. The posts from France live their own separate existence, in a beautiful croissant and coffee-rich world.
This is a blog of images, of course, and I find I can’t choose my favorite image of 2014. I’m greedy — I like them all — I wouldn’t share them if I didn’t. So I’ll post a new photo, from a visit to Toddington railway station, the northern terminus of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. I can’t think of any one image I’ve taken which sums up “England” more perfectly than this!
Here’s to more explorations in 2014. Much love to y’all as you come along with me!