Ode to Winter

What a season you have been
and though I certainly did not expect it -
I have ill for almost all your days,
feeling head-heavy, congested,
weary, impatient at healing, fragile even -

memories of a dry and droughty
last year are washed away
with droplets like jewels on the window panes
everything exudes damp, freshness -
the paddocks a certain green
the dams brim full (or overflowing)
rivers rushing, roadside lagoons,
trucks and tractors that bog
as I’m told “they always did
this time of year” -

yes, you have been so very wet,
the pent up little people (and big),
umpteen muddy knees and sock changes, nose-wiping,
cool hands on feverish foreheads
(mine, theirs)
lingering coughs and so much turmeric ginger broth -

lessons like
how to make plans and let them go,
how to ask for help and really need it,
how to heal at a snail’s pace,
how to tolerate intense pain,
how to slow down, or stop altogether -
how to realise just how much you juggled
(perhaps unwisely) when you were well -
how to grow a third baby,
how to mediate between four-year-old and toddler,
how to soak up winter sunshine,
how to cradle full cups of tea,
how to not worry or worry less
about it all -

the hens too wintered,
our older girls taking time off
to malt, to rest, refresh -
make the most of a luxuriously
green garbed pasture -

and the porridge soaks
for tomorrow’s breakfast,
pears simmer with spices,
the kettle whistles
a familiar tune,
eggs are savoured,
lamb and milk
from our neighbours -
lettuce from our garden
and the first snow peas
and the first purple broccoli
all blessings of this season,
wintering -

but I confess I am glad to see you off,
my head and heart set on warmer days,
of plumping chickens,
of swarming bees,
market stalls, then of course
a great birthing,
tiny baby sighs
walks with all my boys
and blossoms,
all the blossoms...