It is the season of Capricorn. I am gazing through our wide bay window towards the shadowy hills, as city lights illuminate a cold, rainy early January night. A very bare bay window. Where have all the jewels of multi-coloured reflection gone? Back to the ‘Otherworld’, the Romantic in me thinks. Waiting, waiting for another year…
Yesterday we took our Christmas Tree down, this year aided by our kind and helpful neighbours, their assistance a welcome ray of brightness in an otherwise doleful day. After New Year has arrived, the time of festivity and celebration is over.
The richly decorated, multi-coloured glowing beauty of our tree then ceases to bring us comfort and magic in the heart of winter, standing before us reproachfully (as we imagine), waiting to be dismantled, recycled. We cannot bear to prolong this post-festive inevitability. And now it’s done, gone.
Here I stand, in the bare, empty, dusted, wiped, hoovered space left behind. What comfort is to be found in this bleak moment?
The need to bring comfort, cheer and significance to that cold dark time in the Northern Hemisphere, when the Sun’s warmth seems a distant longed-for memory, is a very ancient one. Here are the ancient Egyptians, honouring their Tree of Life:
This thought comforts me, as it does every year. I like to feel part of the ancient river of humanity as I stand here in my 21st century bare bay window.
Dylan Thomas’ famous line from the poem “And death shall have no dominion” comes to mind:
‘Though lovers be lost, love shall not……’
This tree may have been sacrificed by us, but its spirit lives on in that bare window space, inhabiting another world, waiting to be given form yet again when the seasons turn and we feel yet again a powerful need to affirm in the cold season of Capricorn that the life force is still with us – just gathering its strength in the dormancy of winter.
350 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2020