12 Dec 2011

In the Bleak Midwinter

In the Bleakmidwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long Ago.

Christina Rossetti
music by Gustav Holst




The Snow-drop,
Winter's timid child,
Awakes to life,
bedew'd with tears
Mary Robinson

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the withered air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, and housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm
Ralph Waldo Emerson


I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure
in the landscape - the loneliness of it - the dead feeling of
winter.  Something waits beneath it - the whole story
doesn't show.
Andrew Wyeth

Most people, early in November, take last looks at their
gardens, and are then prepared to ignore them until the spring. 
I am quite sure that a garden doesn't like to be
ignored like this.
It doesn't like to be covered in dust sheets, as though it were
an old room which you had shut up during the winter.
Especially since a garden knows how gay and delightful
it can be,
even in the very frozen heart of the winter,
if you only give it a chance.
Beverley Nichols

There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you ...
In Spring, Summer and Fall people sort of have an
open season on each other;
only in winter, in the country,
can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can
savour belonging to yourself.
Ruth Stout

When the ice of winter holds the house in its rigid grip,
when curtains are drawn early against that vast frozen waste
of landscape,
almost like a hibernating hedgehog
I relish the security of being withdrawn from all that summer
ferment that is long since past.
Then is the time for re-appraisal: to spread out,
limp and receptive,
and let garden thoughts rise to the surface.
They emerge from some deep source of stillness
which the very fact of winter
has released.
Mirabel Osler

All photos: Pinterest