I step into the freezing bubble of the porch. Stained glass bright, dry, clear light. Cold keys in old locks. Feet, wrapped tight in boots,step onto the stone steps and I take my first breaths.
It feels like my first breath in a month. Ice chill snakes through my lungs, freezing, invigorating. The skies are bright, winter blue. Cold sunlight finding brilliant gold in windows, shining across the valley, piercing the lingering morning haze.
I pull the ice air into my soul, blue eyes reflecting the skies, the dry brown of the distant moorlands picked out by sunlight, bracken, peat. The air is sharp and dry, stark contrast to the weeks of drizzle, wet leaves, mud underfoot. Thick, relentless, endless fog, absorbing joy bit by bit, bringing us down, wrapping us in darkness. But this, this light, this knife slice through the winter, refreshes, revives, awakens. A break in the long, Northern dullness.
I drive, quickly, both windows wound down, breath shallow as the whipping wind freezes my skin and tangles my hair, sharp across my forehead. Fingers freeze to the wheel but still I drive, alive, smiling the smile of a joyous soul, lips and teeth biting cold.
I stop and I look up to the washed out, palest blue of the sky and trace aeroplane trails to the horizon. I breathe in the season, I smell leaves and the hint of nature settling in, bedding down to hunker through the freezing months ahead. I feel a hint of possibility, snow carried on the wind, a feeling, an expectation, a subtle shift in the rhythm of the earth. I toss my head in the cutting wind and it slices through my jacket, my jumper, my skin with ease. Thin, ice shards on the breeze.
My eyes are bright and I live and I smile and I walk onwards into the crisp morning.