When the great sun has turned his face away,
The earth goes down into a vale of grief,
And fasts, and weeps, and shrouds herself in sables,
Leaving her wedding-garlands to decay –
Then leaps in spring to his returning kisses.”
Charles Kingsley, 1819 – 1875 English priest of the Church of England,
university professor, historian and novelist
I know it’s almost winter because today I had my annual flu injection.
Here in New Zealand these injections are free to all over the age of 65 and anybody with a life threatening condition. This year it wasn’t necessary to go to the GP, the local chemist/pharmacist was administering the injections.
She was a very efficient young pharmacist and about 15 minutes after I arrived I was on my way out. Of course, it was necessary to fill in a consent form, isn’t it always? As I sat there for the mandatory 5 minutes following the injection I thought back to 2011 when I had the shot. At that time, flu injections were administered in the doctor’s office. And on that day, I was greeted by a nurse who introduced me to a trainee nurse and asked if I minded Melissa being there, and would I allow her to administer the injection.
After asking how many she had administered before, I was met with a beautiful smile to be told that she had been a ‘body piercer’ for 13 years before beginning her nursing training. That is/was the only time I have met a body piercer. And yes, I did get my injection after hearing some things from her on the subject.
I know it’s almost winter because sweaters and cardigans, and winter slacks and skirts have been taken from the wardrobe, washed or dry cleaned and are sitting ready to wear.
I know it’s almost winter because the days are getting shorter and the nights longer. Lights are on earlier and occasionally it has been necessary to put on the heat. Oh yes, I know our winter is nothing like many of you suffer in the Northern Hemisphere but still..
I know it’s almost winter because my son can have his fill of “Mummy’s Soup”.
Since he was a little boy he has told everybody that nobody makes soup like his ‘Mummy”. So in winter, when I go to their house I take some soup. And always enough for him to freeze for another day.
Isn’t it great how we can still please our children so very easily?
I know it’s almost winter because the beach is almost deserted when I go for a walk. I really like the beach at this time with the wind and waves hurling around, making it almost my private walking place.
And I will know when it’s winter because I will have time to sit inside and read some of the books that have accumulated in the pile during the summer months. And because I won’t be able to get out into the garden, I will spend some blissful, uninterrupted time with my books and of course, the ubiquitous cup of tea.
“Brew me a cup for a winter’s night. For the wind howls loud and the furies fight;
Spice it with love and stir it with care, And I’ll toast our bright eyes,
my sweetheart fair.”
~Minna Thomas Antrim, 1861 – 1950, American writer
And then suddenly I am reminded of the quote by Percy Byte Shelley –
“If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind.”
Each day that quote shouted at me from the walls of the tube (London Underground) as I made my way to and from work in the cold London winters.