November has been a month of dramatic sunsets and outstanding moons. Yesterday at dusk the Welsh Hills, which we can see clearly from where we live, were a deep violet colour and behind them the clouds were amassed in brilliant formation . . . . like brilliant rose and golden bubbles, lit by a fiery glow which seemed to strike up from beneath the horizon. Along the edge of the sky a long bar of green light hung on, lingering until the darkness closed in.
The air of November is exhilarating when there is no fog about to spoil it. It's filled with the sharp smell of burning wood, wet earth and rotting leaves. There is a special tang in the wind which sets the blood to moving with a quicker rhythm. I step out briskly into the morning . . . conscious of a new vitality and bracing for the threat of the impending Winter to come.
As the sun shortens it's stride . . . the length of our days growing ever shorter, the world, too, seems to diminish in size. Life becomes much more centred around hearth and home, the cosy familiarity of indoors and family looms large in one's heart and mind Oh yes . . . there is still much to do in the garden, but there is a strange quietness which broods out there amongst the leafless trees and mist. It is as if Nature is saying . . . Let everything lie fallow for a bit. Rest and wait . . .
They call it The Cottage of Content,
I knocked to find out what it meant,
For all my life, I'd sought to find
The secret of a quiet mind.
"Come in", the owner said, "come in.
The things you seek are here within.
Love tends the hearth and keeps the blaze
To warm the heart on bitter days."
"Hope trims the lamps and makes them bright
To give a good and kindly light.
Faith keeps her watch in every room
To banish doubt and fear and gloom."
I turned away, and homeward went
To build my cottage of content . . .
Brrr . . . it is -2 out there this morning. Third morning of frost in a row. Last year we only had to clear the car windows once. I think it will be a tad bit different this year. Who knows, perhaps we will get that elusive White Christmas after all . . . but I won't hold my breath waiting for it to appear. We had a set of Elders come for their tea last night. Their hands were so cold and their cheeks so rosy. I fed them up with Thanksgiving leftovers and apple crumble with custard for dessert. I simply mixed the turkey with some gravy and the peas and carrots in a casserole dish and topped it with crumbled stuffing before baking until the whole thing was bubbly. Oh, but it was some good. Some sweet potatoes, mash and green beans on the side and dinner was served. Why is it the leftovers often taste better than the original meal? I wonder . . .
A thought to carry with you through today . . .
Sometimes when the people you love
hurt you the most,
it is better to stay quiet because,
if your love wasn't enough . . .
Do you think your words will matter?
Wise counsel . . .
In The English Kitchen today . . . Honeyed Oat, Apricot and Walnut Cookies. Delish!
Have a wonderful Saturday. Be happy and blessed. Stay safe. Don't forget . . .
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And I do too!