Monday, December 13, 2010

Wherever You Are...

I hope you are enjoying the season.  Up here in Upstate New York, winter has arrived.  It is 10 degrees Fahrenheit and, if I must say, pretty darn nippy.   But, contrary to popular belief about the blizzards of Buffalo, it really is truly beautiful, and hardly ever life threatening (unlike those tornadoes, mudslides, earthquakes etc. etc. found in other parts of the world).

Skating on Park Lake (Delaware Park), c. 1910.
Image from Private Collection

The snow was falling pretty heavily today.  Not the kind that sticks to the road creating treacherous driving, but the white, fluffy stuff that just blows across the road and just looks so pretty.  I had a miraculous moment this morning.  What I can only describe as a "stag" crossed a suburban main road today directly in front of my car as I was driving.  He was the biggest, most astounding deer I have ever seen!  Just his antlers seemed as big as my car.  Then, in a flash, he was gone.  

I am sending these lyrics out to you in honor of winter moments like this, whether you are lucky enough to be basking in the sun, or have the great pleasure of a white winter wonderland.  By the way, you can listen to this song as well, if you just scroll down to the bottom of my blog and find it at the beginning of my playlist.  Happy Holidays and a Wonderful Winter to you All!

Snow by Loreena McKennitt

White are the far-off plains, and white
The fading forests grow;
The wind dies out along the height
And denser still the snow,
A gathering weight on roof and tree
Falls down scarce audibly.

The road before me smooths and fills
Apace, and all about
The fences dwindle, and the hills
Are blotted slowly out;
The naked trees loom spectrally
Into the dim white sky.

The meadows and far-sheeted streams
Lie still without a sound;
Like some soft minister of dreams
The snow-fall hoods me round;
In wood and water, earth and air,
A silence everywhere.

Save when at lonely intervals

Some farmer's sleigh, urged on,
With rustling runner and sharp bells,
Swings by me and is gone;
Or from the empty waste I hear
A sound remote and clear;

The barking of a dog, or call
To cattle, sharply pealed,
Borne, echoing from some wayside stall
Or barnyard far afield;

Then all is silent and the snow falls
Settling soft and slow
The evening deepens and the grey
Folds closer earth and sky
The world seems shrouded, far away.

Its noises sleep, and I as secret as
Yon buried stream plod dumbly on and dream

At Home with the Georgians

Finally, I believe I have returned from my very extended hiatus.  I did not plan to be gone this long, but a brief illness had me unable to write, let alone think, for a little while, and of course, the holidays are in full swing and it is quite difficult to find the time to sit down at my laptop for longer than it takes to go through all my e-mails (which are a lot and mostly Christmas advertising).  I wanted to come back with a bang, though, and I think I have found it!:

Click on the above link to view the new BBC series "At Home with the Georgians"  hosted by Amanda Vickery.  It is so spot on with my own research interests and is quite an enjoyable look at life, married and unmarried, during the Georgian period.  We even get a privileged glimpse of Chawton Cottage, Jane Austen's home for many years and where she wrote most of her novels.

If, like me, you are not from the UK, you need to download Expat Shield in order to view this series.  It will then think you are indeed an "expatriot", so you then, as a qualified Brit, would be allowed to view the show :).  Happy viewing, and enjoy!