Friday, December 31, 2021

In the Deep Winter Quiet

'Winter landscape view from a window, 1919'
Harald Moltke (1871-1960, Danish)


" She opened her curtains, and looked out
towards the bit of road that lay in view, with fields
beyond outside the entrance-gates. "
GEORGE ELIOT, Middlemarch



Someone on Twitter recently posted this painting by Danish artist Harald Moltke. I love it! I was so drawn into its gentle winter scene, for it matches the soft mood of our own winter wrapped home. How often these quiet days I am perched on the couch in the front window, ready to glance from my book out into my snowy world. I am comforted to see its beauty even as I'm nestled within my warm walls.

With our Christmas quieter than usual, there was no real holiday hustle and bustle to get over—the contrast in our days was barely noticeable. Still, I have appreciated soaking in the quietude of these past few days between the holidays. I am entertained by the birds busy at the feeders, who sing in spite of the bitter cold. I immerse myself in books, listen to music, play Scrabble with Rick in the afternoons, and dream up tiny treats to enjoy with tea or decaf coffee.  

While we've been hibernating, I feel as if it's been a gathering time for my soul. Everywhere I read, I find lines that draw me in, succor me. I write them down so as not to forget. Today I share a few of these words that ring true in my heart, hoping there will be something that resonates for you as well.


* * *

" For me the silent winter landscape of this wild place holds
a special magic, echoing powerfully with feelings deep
inside me. Like strong winds and storms Hickling's winter silence
puts me in touch with an inner wildness... It's funny how
silence is sometimes so much louder, or deeper, than words. "
DAVID NORTH, Winter Anthology


* * *


" We were made to enjoy music, to enjoy beautiful sunsets,
to enjoy looking at the billows of the sea
and to be thrilled with a rose that is bedecked with dew...
Human beings are actually created for the transcendent,
for the sublime, for the beautiful, for the truthful...
and all of us are given the task of trying to make this world
a little more hospitable to these beautiful things. "
DESMOND TUTU (1931 - 2021)


* * *


" I’m not telling you to make the world better, because
I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package,
I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it,
not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it.
To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly.
To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it.
To seize the moment… "
JOAN DIDION (1934 - 2021)
(from a 1975 Commencement Speech at University of California Riverside) 

As seen on Literary Ladies Guide in a tribute
to American author Joan Didion by Nancy Snyder.


* * *


" I would rather sit in silence
for days than let my hurtful words echo
on in someone's heart forever. "
BODMIN HERMIT, @TheCarceri on Twitter


* * *


" If you think you're burned out, you're burned out, 
and if you don't think you're burned out you're burned out.
Everyone sits under the shade of that juniper tree,
weeping, and whispering, 'Enough.' "
JILL LEPORE, American Historian


* * *


" Have patience
with everything that
remains unsolved in your heart. "
RAINER MARIA RILKE


* * *


" Lord, grant me peace above all else
no matter the circumstances
I may face this year. "
UNKNOWN


* * *


We stand ready to knock at the front door of 2022, and I am most grateful for your company as we share this new year together. I remind myself and you, should you need it, to keep watch for those glimpses of heaven with hope that 'beyond the pain, life continues to be sweet' (ROSAMUNDE PILCHER). Facing another New Year with still so much uncertainty and upheaval, we remind ourselves to take 'courage, dear hearts' (C.S. LEWIS).

"Go. Be. Love. The world needs you" (SUSAN BRANCH). Happy New Year!


Heart hugs,
Brenda




26 comments:

  1. How lovely, Brenda. Like you, I gather words, and those from Desmond Tutu speak to my heart. I like your expression "a winter-wrapped world" that could describe the view from my window these days, too. We don't have the bitter cold that you are experiencing, and our snow will soon disappear, but how lovely it is while we have it. It's been a gift.
    Wishing you and Rick a most happy beginning to 2022, and much joy throughout the days that follow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lorrie, I'm so glad you got your wish for snow this past Christmas and through the new year. From photos you've shared on your FB and blog, I know you and your family have taken full advantage of these snowy days -- enjoying being out in your brief but marvelous winter wonderland.

      Delete
  2. Good morning, Brenda. I do love this post. I have now finished copying them for my 'Book of Special Things.' I have also been enjoying reading. It is truly a gift I give myself. So far, we have only had a slight dusting of snow. But we have not seen January or February. Know I wish you and Rick a most Happy and Healthy New Year. Many Blessings, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I muse, I believe, next to books and reading being top favourites in my life, it would have to be the happy collecting of quotes I come across that inspire, cheer, and encourage. When it comes to meeting people who also love gathering favourite quotes, I'd say we are quite a league of kindred spirits. :)

      Thank you so much for your good wishes, Sandra, I know they come from your heart. xo

      Delete
  3. Lovely thoughts for this last day of the year. You've inspired me to send off a few notes and thoughts to special people, with wishes and prayers for the coming new year. I too am noting down some of the timely quotes you have chosen for us today, I love a good quote! Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kathy! At this stage of life, I should have shelves of bulging notebooks full of quotes I have collected over the years. Alas, too many of them have been written on scraps of paper and so many are now lost. Thankfully, we have a brand new year to collect new ones that we can savour and enjoy and be inspired by.

      Delete
  4. Your snowy world sounds lovely. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And a very Happy New Year to you, Penny! Look forward to sharing the blogging journey with you during the coming year.

      Delete
  5. Ah Brenda a lovely post to be read slowly and savored much like how it seems you are enjoying your holidays. I too am finding more rest this Christmas Season. Hope you and yours have a blessed New Year. Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie, I always get a happy little tickle around my heart when your name pops up in the comments section. Wishing you a beautiful new year!

      Delete
  6. Wishing you all the best for this brand new year, dear Brenda. For myself, I'm looking forward to another year of your beautifully written posts.
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amalia, you are too kind, thank you! I look forward to sharing the journey via our blogs throughout this coming new year. Sending heart hugs xo

      Delete
  7. "For me the silent winter landscape of this wild place holds
    a special magic..." Ah yes, for me too. Each season holds its wonder in some way, and I do not wish for Spring merely to put Winter at a distance, for Winter holds enough delights of its own. Happy New Year, dear Brenda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joy, the very same lines that captured my imagination when reading this short essay. I love each season in its time.

      Delete
  8. Brenda, this is such a beautiful post. Treasuring and reflecting on the words from Desmond Tutu.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen, thanks so much for stopping by. I agree, they are words to treasure and reflect upon. Wishing you a Happy New Year!

      Delete
  9. Happy New Year, Brenda.

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful quotes with us. So sad that we lost Desmond Tutu and Joan Didion last month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every year we lose a few of the world's best. I always hope there are people coming up behind to fill their spots, not to replace, but to pick up the mantle and carry on the job of being light bearers in a darkened world.

      Happy New Year, Margie - here's to many great tea drinking moments!

      Delete
  10. I love that painting... it is a gentling of winter, which I appreciate! Thank you for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gretchen, we've had some deep winter here these past weeks - cold and lots of snow - perfect weather for hibernating. I like your expression 'gentling of winter'. Happy New Year to you!

      Delete
  11. thanks for sharing others thoughts and also your own for the new year and winter. I got inspired to write a poem about silence!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lin, Did you get that poem written? Happy New Year to you!

      Delete
  12. What lovely words, Brenda! So many positive thoughts in uncertain times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you... I need reminders to help me stay positive. Happy New Year to you, Madame La-Bas!

      Delete

To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xox

PS. I do not always comment here, but I do look forward to coming and visiting you....