And oh, there is so much to read right now. School's over for the semester, so there is marking to attend to and I've got some editing work on the go. It's good to be busy but I am eagerly anticipating the quiet season. After the holidays, another series of transitions lies in wait – moving from one year to the next, from one school to the next, from one project to the next – but before that I'll have a bit of breathing space. I'm looking forward, as I always do, to the days between Christmas and the New Year; time to rest, reflect and gather my forces for the year ahead.
But first, Christmas. This year I'm thinking about replacing my tiny silver tinsel tree with a vase of pine boughs, hung with knitted ornaments. I've missed the scent of pine. This will be the year I finally make a house or two for the Christmas village I'm so inexplicably fixated on. (I'll need a miracle in balsa wood.)
Gifts this year need to be handmade and heartfelt, too: tiny, intricate knitted things; homemade cookies and candy and fruitcake; handwritten cards and letters, with photos – stories from the year just past and hopes for the year to come. I'm giving the gifts I hope to receive.
But all that is three weeks away. Until then, I'll keep trying to find the bright spots and quiet moments in these dark winter days, and to celebrate them whenever and however I can: lighting a candle at dusk, sitting in the gloaming with a cup of tea, silently counting the stitches as I knit, savouring dinner with a friend. I'll make sticky cranberry gingerbread and spend an evening addressing cards by the light of the twinkle lights, and I'll keep the faith until the days start lengthening again.