I’ve been working with clay this week which has been lovely, partly because my writing brain is grinding to a halt due to pregnancy, and partly because it has taken me away from my screen. Life is simpler when we embrace nature’s rhythms rather than fighting against them, and on this first, misty day of December, just three weeks from the winter solstice, now is the perfect time to embrace shadow and darkness rather than facing the glare of the computer screen for hours on end. The screen is, of course, essential for many of us, and I can’t pretend I don’t love the freedom and creativity of working digitally from home. But this week I have felt much more drawn to working with my hands, from the texture of clay to mashing cheesy potato, feeling autumn leaves and chicken feathers, lighting candles in the evenings and completing puzzles with Olive.
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This week I’ve been reviewing two books for Resurgence & Ecologist magazine, both about our relationship with light and darkness. If you’ve read my book Dark Skies, you’ll know I love this topic and feel very drawn to it, particularly at this time of year when the night is so long and cold, pulling us out into the mist like moths around a halo moon. I heard my first tawny owl of the season this week - they must roost somewhere near our garden because they are frequent winter visitors. I remember listening to one during a night feed with Olive when she was just a few months old, standing outside the front door with her wrapped in a blanket, all three of us communing quietly with the night.
I hope you’re all enjoying the start of the festive season with at least one mince pie already consumed, and hopefully finding a few gentle moments to switch off and look inwards this week. Here I am yesterday at 34 weeks preggo!