As the winter seeps into my bones, I feel nostalgic for places, times and states of being that are long past. I cannot relive the moments, but I can replay them in my head and my heart…
It is a cold winter morning and I have nothing but an old stereo that plays only tapes. I sit among the boxes unpacking and throwing out the stuff that no longer serves me. I pack new boxes as I get ready to make a change. Janis is playing on the stereo, an old tape of my dad’s “Take another piece of my Heart”, I long for the wine in the cupboard but it has gone stale…
I miss that place now, that time, things were different. I was different. That time and place are still a part of me even though I said goodbye on a warm winter afternoon almost a year ago.
I remember walking on the veld finding a place to meditate under the apple tree, now bare of any fruit, but still as welcoming as a warm apple cider. I remember the dirt roads and the bossies my mom and I picked up along the path to the crossroads.
My memories start to clash into each other and I remember other homes, other times, other places, other winters seeping into my skin and bones like a cold ointment. I remember standing in the ice-cold wind calling the power of the air into my heart, and lungs as I ran toward the willow trees.
I’m sitting in bed reading a Marian Keyes book, a rusk and a cup of hot coffee by my side, there are no sounds except for the soft tinkling of the chimes in the cold wind.
There are planks of wood outside my window, they have become my playground, my junkyard of dreams and hopes, this was the year I gave up Christmas and decided to give Yule a chance.
In winter I said goodbye to a friend, the pain too hard to keep holding on to. It was vile and toxic, and like a slow-acting, bitter poison. In winter I tried to repair that friendship only to feel the loss harder than before.
In winter I made my first witches brew, a disgusting combination of wormwood and other herbs. I let it go rancid in my cupboard and threw it out in globs and stench.
In winter I sobbed on the couch, so lonely and alone in my feelings that I sneakily drank the alcohol in the fridge. I made friends out of thin air and got lost in books and fantasy.
In winter I found a key, my grandmother let me keep it. I wore it to school under my school-shirt, and sat on the shotput platforms with my friends calling the quarters.
I made a circle of pebbles around the willow trees, a place where I could leave my offerings and do my spellwork, only to find the next day the gardener had removed all the stones afraid of voodoo.
I awaken early in the morning, my mom and dad are still asleep and I sneak around the house. I’m scared to walk to the bathroom and the laundry, there is an evil spirit, and the house is dank with its energy.
I sit upon the brown grass, candles in candle holders and spells and wishes on the wind. I send them off with an aching hope and dream of yesterdays and tomorrows that clash into today.