I have talked before about how the changing of the seasons and the impact of nature is so much a part of our lives. It was only really when WWOOFing that we began to be in tune with the natural world and that connection has grown ever greater. This year particularly I have been more aware of the summer and winter solstice.
December has been a tough month for us so far, the weather has been unbelievably testing with relentless gales, pouring rain and short grey day following short grey day. In so many ways this winter has been easier than last year – we have our running water, our toilet, our log burner and decent stock of firewood. In other ways it has infinitely harder. I was poorly and here on Rum being ill is cause for concern – we don’t have easy access to doctors or chemists. We have had animal losses which always hits hard. This time last year we had almost daily ground frosts and the croft was hard and mostly dry and crunchy underfoot. It was cold but crisp and clear. This year is it dark, grey, wet and muddy. We have seen more cancelled ferries in the last month than in the whole of the previous 20 months we’ve lived here.
However, it is the time of year to take stock, to be grateful for blessings and to think of others. In these darkest days we have been shown love, kindness, compassion and caring from the community on Rum, from our wider social circle of family and friends and being the 21st century we have had outpourings of loveliness from every corner of the internet too. We have had the Rum nativity, the Rum Christmas kids party (with special appearance from Santa, who I was lucky enough to go home with afterwards!) and carol singing. There has been mulled wine aplenty, mince pies and gingerbread, tinsel and fairy lights.
Tonight I wrapped all our Christmas presents (those that have arrived – we are still waiting for a few), tomorrow we will be making a few turkeys oven-ready and we are planning the last few days before Christmas to be filled with festive baking, some Christmas crafts and plenty of seasonal tunes.
The shortest day is almost over and as of tomorrow the sun will rise that bit earlier, set that bit later and maybe even start putting a bit more of an appearance.