Dark, yes, but full of holiday lights and music to brighten days!
Back in November I listened to an Internet station, playing classical Christmas music in a constant stream, to conjure up winter cheer while I painted images to become small originals and cards for Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Gallery this month.
I found inspiration in old photos and old drawings, revisiting moments of festivity in our other houses – the living room in the Anchorage house ready for a solstice tea party back in our day, Lady B’s bedroom with a tiny tree, and crotchety Frances in a peaceful moment in our Port Townsend house. A Christmas letter photo from a friend in England inspired an image of her retriever in the snow by a cottage (changing her brick to red). So many years in the north make snow a part of December for me, though mostly painted snow now.
All the time I thought a lot about the season – comparing, remembering. These days I am grateful to revisit some of my memories by watching the younger generation, remembering the joys of Christmas past, youthful Christmases with someone special, a velvet dress in the evening, snowy ski days; children full of excitement and anticipation, thrilled by it all; and then, returning college students (no matter that they left immediately to go out with friends), the house alive and cheerful again.
Our young friend came home this weekend from Cambridge, where she is studying this year, and I hope the California family will come next week (last year derailed by ordinary colds, the year before by Covid). Crossed fingers, holiday travel (never easy) is more fraught now for sure, but like Sweet B, I look forward to decorating the tree, making cookies, and most of all reading the books of the season by the fire.
Sometimes my mind slips ahead to next Christmas – what will that be like? Should I buy a recommended Christmas tree stand that promises to make the job easier than the tree-stand-wrestle of this weekend? Or wait to see what the year brings.
Best to stay in the moment. I will post these winter images on Instagram (@gilmorekaty) but include this one here – our kitchen corner where a teapot warms the dark. For it is time soon to celebrate the winter solstice and welcome returning light and renewal – a celebration shared by all in the northland.
I wish you a warm, bright, and healthy season – festive and joyful!