WINTER SYMPHONY

Winter lunchtime in a grey, dank and murky Dublin.

The Concert Hall swallows us up,

gathering us into the elegant auditorium.

We settle ourselves into our seats,

making nests of our heavy winter coats.

The Symphony Orchestra filter out onto the stage.

Men and women, looking like they have been randomly gathered up from various jobs around the city.

A motorbike mechanic, the chairman of the board, a banker, a lollipop lady, a school mom, a hairdresser…..

Their musical apparatus is all that sets them apart.

The cacophony of tuning up, of muted conversations and shuffling of feet dies away.

Hushed anticipation.

Instruments raised, they become one,

As music bursts forth like some magnificent fireworks display.

Firey notes of red and orange glow as they land all around us.

Electrifying the air.

Transporting us away from our grey city to icy Russian landscapes.

And then gentler tones of soft greens and blues float up into the air.

The conductor knitting up the airborne notes into a multicoloured fabric of sound.

Softer and softer until all that is heard is a lone harpist.

Dropping gentle notes like raindrops splashing onto a glass lake.

Crystal clear drops of ancient music catching the light and scattering vivid rainbows here and there.

The motley crew of musicians are transformed into mystical creatures,

Clothed in satins and velvets of deep hues.

Russet and ochre.

Purple and gold.

As they shower us in this lyrical magnificence.

A wholly unexpected and sublime joy.

LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW…….

Finally we have something different to talk about! And to think about.

Snow.

Tons of it.

Snow like I am not sure I have ever seen before in Dublin and I am very old!

This morning as I write this, there is a white out here in Cabinteely. My world has been gifted a thick duvet cover of artic brightness. Our roads are beautifully quiet. The special, gentle hush that snowfall always brings. It’s as if the whole world is an awe of Mother Nature’s ability to so beautify our surroundings.

The cats are bemused and horrified in equal measure and our elderly matriarch is particularly put out! Her old bones are too old for deep snow.

Today we are having our first duvet day of the snowy weather, with the exception of Carla who left the house before the blizzard and caught the bus to work. I do hope she finishes early so she can get home safely.

At the moment the girls are out with their friends, building snowmen and throwing snowballs. Later they will come in, red faced, wet and exhausted and we will do some baking. As the sun heads west, we will light the fire and sit around eating the results of our baking. And I hope we will remember how lucky we are.

So Ireland, I hope everyone is warm and well stocked up and able to enjoy Narnia outside our doors. Check your neighbours – especially the elderly! And don’t forget the birdies… although I got more than I bargained for when I tried to put out bread for a pair of doves! Those are seagulls! Hitchcock does Narnia!!!

DELAYED BEGINNINGS

It’s been a funny old New Year. It began wonderfully on New Year’s Eve with a good fall of snow which is perfect when you are home, with plenty of food, wine and fuel and no particular place to go. Along with the December Blue Moon, there was magic in the air in the infant hours of 2010. New Year’s Day was a Friday and so we rolled into the weekend in a lazy, locked in kind of way.

However by Monday I was hoping to begin to establish a bit of routine back into my days leading up to Thursday when the girls were to go back to school. But more ice and snow put an end to that and gifted the kids two extra days holidays.

And so I found myself somewhat stalled, paused in a frozen limbo. Days merged into each other so that I felt a little disorientated. Is it Tuesday or Thursday? But yesterday (and it was Wednesday) I realised what a pleasure it has been to have been given a slow and relaxed start to 2010. I usually race headlong into the new year (and any new project) like the proverbial bull at a gate, tearing down all signs of Christmas on January 1st and setting my face firmly to the coming twelve months. This year has been all so different – thanks to Mother Nature.

And so on my usual quest for the meaning of life, I am wondering if the Universe is saying to me “relax, be calm, all is unfolding as it should” in a voice that is reminiscent of the Cadbury’s Caramel Bunny!

Anyway – therein lies my resolution for 2010 – I shall go with the flow, give up trying to exert control all the time and trust that all is happening exactly as it should. And that sounds just fine!

What about you? How does the Artic weather affect you?