Today, I embarked on an early morning school run thanks to a school bus that didn’t arrive. Despite the bright sunshine, temperatures were sub-zero, which encouraged a hasty car window de-icing session, followed by the hurried delivery of two youngsters, so Dad’s taxi could save the day. Thankfully, the frantic one way dash was followed by a steadier return trip across the hills as I headed back home, when I could at least have more time to take in the frozen panoramic landscape.
Descending the hill from the Fosseway in a car which had finally warmed, I emerged from a heavily wooded hillside to reveal a familiar view of my home village spread left to right, across a flat and very cold land. It was almost a scene from a Victorian Christmas card, where everyone was awakening from another chilly December night; icy rooftops and chimney stacks faced this way and that, occasional trees peeked above, and all was shrouded in the finest mist that faded as it rose high to a wide pastel blue sky.
Also, sat in the sky above the village, I was delighted to see December’s Cold Moon, which held a full and dominant if subtle position up high. I’m fascinated by the moon, and have been frustrated not to have spent more time across the last few nights taking in its full glory, especially as it’s the last full moon of the year. I was glad then, on this frosty morn, to still see my old friend who had hung around for breakfast before bidding farewell.
This cold snap, I might as well add, is all down to the moon, although I have little scientific evidence to prove it. Indeed I’d convinced myself as the moon waxed across the last few days, that the climate had gradually settled and calmed; at least it had across my locality. The depth and sharpness of the frost had increased, yes, but aside from that, the soothing effects were to be seen around as the moon made its presence felt.
Could I be imagining the moon’s impact, am I way off the mark, I ask myself? I’m not sure, but it often pays to keep an open mind I find. It’s just I seem to notice that whenever the full moon arrives and departs, the weather often seems to change. I really should start recording to test it out.
If you know me, you’ll know that I try hard in every situation to connect with the environment around me, although when I’m at home, in my ‘sanctuary’ as it were, I admit that my outlook is somewhat curtailed. There are no distance views from my windows to leafy landscapes or rolling hills, there are no woodlands or mountains, and I could hardly be more land-locked in this country if I tried – so sea views are way out of bounds. Not to be outdone however, when I am at home, I’m drawn, beyond the detail of my own garden to look up. I look up to the sky, and the perplexing universe beyond; up there has become the go-to place for my mind and curiosity to wander free.
Up there of course, beyond those cloud formations and viewed amongst the stars, the moon and its cycle never fails to draw my focus, not just for its scale, but for its impact on the earth and ourselves. It definitely affects my sleep although I’m not sure why, and is known to impact the environment too, something I’m attempting to get to grips with and understand. All things considered therefore, I confess here to being completely under the moon’s spell, and I’m happy, rightly or wrongly, to put the cool brilliance of the last few days firmly down to the moon.
Whatever the weather, and whatever the cause, this morning’s rushed road trip turned out to have a silvery lining after all. For one, it put me out amongst that village view, even if it were in a toasty car, and for two, it pushed me to consider more carefully the sugared fields and frozen hedgerows, the tufty roadside grass and even an obelisk’s bay leaves beside my parking space at home, which were frosted perfectly around their margins. Indeed, I was conjuring up words even before I sat down to write.
After all is said and done, the youngsters made their first lessons, the moon bid its goodbye, I paused to notice, and this little piece appeared to sit as a memory on my blog. Thanks for reading. Regards, Gary
2 thoughts on “Frozen Hedgerows”
Beautiful writing, evocative and moving.
I watched the same moon set over the frosted landscape of Lancaster and Morecambe, the Bay, and the Lake District fells in the distance.
I learned a great deal from reading Maria and Matthias Thun’s Biodynamic calendars of the moon over many years. More recently, I’ve been working with I Tune with the Moon, a French moon calendar translated into English. Great observations when working in the garden.
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Thank you so much for the kind comments, I’ll definitely look up those resources. I’ve been gradually working through ‘Moon Gardening’, by Matt Jackson this year, which has certainly helped, but always looking to boost knowledge. Best, Gary 🌿