Today the world is covered in crystals

Last night the earth succumbed to the first frosts this year.  

This morning, we watched the inky blue night retract, making room for a pastel peach smear across the sky, though misty windows. We gathered our things and left the relative warmth of our home for the cold air outside.

There was crunch underfoot, and the world glistened in the morning light.  Sparkling and crisp.  Star formations, all prickly and brittle covered the outside of our car and our fingers stung as we gripped the handles of the doors.

We sat with excited shivers in the freezing car and waited as the warning lights slowly faded out one by one, notifying us when our carriage was ready to move.

On our journey we noticed how so quickly autumn had turned it’s self into winter.  Last week the leaves were gently swaying as they drifted down to earth.  One by one.  We recognised a quiet melancholy at the scene unfolding.  Life letting go.

Now there is a sudden rush. Aided by winds and a cold snap. So very few leaves remain above our heads.  And the branches reach up naked and exposed.

Winter has only just began and there are many long nights ahead before this icy turn will too, come to pass.  I am already hungrier and drowsier than a week ago.  Spending hours curled up in front of our little fire hoping I can absorb and store enough heat in my flesh and bones to see me through the night. 

2 nights ago my daughter discovered a robin crouching on the ground.  Probably a victim to one of the many cats here. (One in particular is a ferocious hunter… and has been known as a killer of snakes no less.)

The tiny bird was motionless, feathers all fluffed up, looking like a little grey and rust fuzz ball. 

For a few minutes we were lost for what to do.  Bringing it water and oats, in a slightly panicked manner.  Until my husband brought down a box and gently placed the little thing in it.  We brought the box and its precious load inside, in the hopes that some warmth might help him regain a little strength. However, we were careful to warn the children, that despite our best efforts, such a little bird was unlikely to survive the night.  Still, we proceeded to turn off lights and let it rest, while we got on with the domestic chores of cooking and cleaning.
The usual routines ensued, vegetables chopped and gas hobs lit.  Children vocalising loudly… until suddenly, we heard an unfamiliar sound. 

A quiet fell on us and we gently called the children in.  We gathered around the box and peeked in.  A startle reflex later and we could confirm that the little bird was fluttering and looking for a way out of his shelter! 

We hesitated just a little before opening the window and robin flew into the night.

A symbolic winter’s tale. A robin no less. We may not know his chances of survival between the cats and the cold, but we do know he got to fight another day.