I’m writing this a week after the end of British Summer Time and the evenings are drawing in.
As usual, I’ve numbered the days on my calendar, starting with 51 for October 31st when the clocks changed, working down to 0 on December 21, the shortest day and a significant milestone if I’m battling Seasonal Affective Disorder at the time.
Reaching each milestone of forty days left, then thirty, then twenty and finally into single figures usually really helps me, especially turning from November to December and finding myself on the same page as the shortest day.
Now that it is dark outside, when I’m cooking an evening meal, I make it a habit to step outside (if the weather allows), stand on the doorstep and just breathe in the scents of the evening.
A few days ago, on November 5th – Bonfire or Firework Night in the UK, – the scent was of wood smoke. Strange, as there were no bonfires nearby but, as so often on that evening, I breathed in the cold, frosty air and the smoke and those intoxicating scents brought back memories of childhood firework parties, gloved hands holding hot jacket potatoes and the delight of signing my name across the night sky with a sparkler.
In a few weeks’ time, I’ll smell Christmas approaching: a heady mix of Christmas pudding mixture, tangerines and the smoke from the cigar my father, (who didn’t normally smoke), allowed himself each Christmas. I’ll think about some of my happiest Christmases past and those who peopled them, especially the family and dear friends who are no longer here.
I’m so thankful for my senses. Although my hearing is declining as I get older, my sense of smell is very strong and I love the way even the briefest exposure to certain scents – passing someone on the street who is wearing a certain perfume, for example – can trigger so many memories.
So, as I go through the next few weeks, I’ll celebrate the wonderful joys I can find in these early winter days. I hope you will be able to do so too.
Psalm 139:14 (KJV): I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.