About Here

Winter in the Alps…

‘ Winter is not a season, it’s an occupation,’  Sinclair Lewis

Thalmanns

The snow arrived this morning. The nights are bright again and the air clean and pale blue. As we live on a mountain, (these are neighbouring houses and the photo of the sledge was also taken on my daily walk) we tend to live with the seasons. Well, we try to.

That means slowing down in winter and staying here in summer to tend the garden and of course, to enjoy all the produce when it’s ripe. Don’t you sometimes wonder about those environmentally ‘conscious’ people, pointing fingers and telling everyone to reduce their carbon footprint and then they go on to tell you where they’ve ‘been’ recently?  There is great value in simply staying in the one place long enough to learn the laws of nature and to allow yourself to get bored sufficiently in order to become creative…

Winter is special here. At the beginning it was hard to get used to not being able to plan in advance because yes, you might get down the hill before the snow starts but will you get back before the road becomes impassable?  Now I spend the summer preparing preserves, herb oils, quince jelly, pestos, green tomato chutney etc. for winter feasts… and in the summer I try to make the most of the fresh vegetables and herbs which Remo grows, when they are ripe. We all have our birthdays in the snowy season ( November and March belong to that too) and we invite friends to our house when we can. We love to cook, as you will see … More recipes to come!

sledge The snow forces one to take it easy, to stay put. The basics, i.e. making sure one has enough root vegetables in storage, barley for soups, eggs, flour and yeast for breads, cakes and quiches and of course chocolate too, become priorities. Then just let it snow… Write your Christmas cards, read that book you put aside for when you’d have the time. Take the time! Take this day! That’s the message for me anyway and I succumb to it better each year, seeing the value in the silence of these quiet days. Summer is busy enough with visitors from all over the world.  So…

Let it snow…

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2 Comments

  • I LOVE this piece you wrote, Frances! It is so very true. Also, as you probably realize, the winter months are, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, kidney energy time. Coccoon time. Look at the shape of the kidneys…little coccoons. Going within. Storing up. Being creative from inside out. And then, when spring arrives, the full energy returns to go out there again! with love, Joanie

  • I love cocoons…
    Thanks for your kind comment Joan,
    l.f.

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