Thursday, January 5, 2017

A New Year

Wow! It's been three weeks since I last posted, which I think is a record. But I can explain...


December was a whirlwind month and toward the end I spent two full weeks (laptop free) in the north country enjoying the snow and cold breeze before heading back down into the warmth of the tropics. My son and I suffered a bout of strep throat at the start of our trip, and when I woke up on the day we departed for home, I once again felt a funny tickle in my throat (not likely to be strep again, though, and for that I'm grateful!).

We've been living in Florida for nearly five years, and I have adjusted to the unique climate. I enjoy that the winters are like a perfect northern autumn, and I appreciate not having to drive in ice and snow. I don't mind the intense heat of the summer months (though I'm not keen on the increase in insects that it brings!). I love the moody skies of the rainy season, especially in contrast to the deep dryness of the fall and winter months, where precipitation is so scarce we often have wildfire warnings.

However on this trip north I remembered just how "right" it feels to be in the snow.
One day we packed ourselves up and drove out to the country side for a romp in the woods (one of my favorite things to do, but something I rarely do in Florida due to the creatures that lurk in the shadows [insert scary music here]).
It was spectacular. It was a rare sunny day, with sparkling blue skies. The air temperature was rather balmy for January, at about 38 degrees.
The trees feel different in the north - good, like home. We do have oaks and maples and even pines in the deep south, but the quality of energy is not quite the same.
There were towering birch trees, which have always been a favorite of mine. As a child I would sometimes peel birch bark to make small baskets.
And the water, albeit freezing, felt so good in the hand. I laid down on my stomach on the damp, muddy riverbank and brought some of the cold water to my face.
Though I brought a deck with me on my trip, I ended up using my mother's Mythic Tarot quite a bit. The 8 of Wands has been following me around for the past few weeks, speaking of travel and movement, and communication.
I purchased a new playing card deck from a favorite local (to Michigan) brewery - Founders - and sure enough, my daily draw on the day we were set to fly back south was none other than the 8 of Clubs!
My husband surprised me with several beautiful and deeply thoughtful gifts. Here is a silver Norse arm ring.
This is a gold ring that he had etched with a portion from one of my favorite Havamal stanzas (57): "Fire is from fire quickened."
This is a Norse vessel pendant that almost appears to double as a mjölnir, complete with Thor's face up top (or, it could just be a person). It is a replica of a brooch found in a grave site in Bornholm, Denmark.
And this is the gold bracelet that was given to me as a baby. He opened it and finished the ends with gold caps and rubies so that I can wear it again (now that my wrists are quite a bit larger!!).

Altogether it has been a beautiful season, and I am filled with gratitude.

May your 2017 bring you all peace, joy, and abundance!


  1. How lovely! What beautiful gifts. I'm happy that you felt to at home in Michigan! I do love the seasons here and I'm not sure that I could love somewhere where there is no true winter - despite sometime fantasizing about it.

  2. I know what you mean! I never thought I would move to Florida, and admittedly that first year was a bit hard. Coffee shops would paste fall-ish leaves in the windows in September despite 90 degree weather. I forgot it was December because I didn't feel the significant change in seasons, and that was unsettling. Eventually I did come to recognize the Florida seasons which are quite apparent once you're tuned in, but probably very subtle to northerners. Still, there is nothing like snowfall and cider mills. That I miss quite a bit!!!

  3. What a wonderful journey you've had and so many beautiful gifts. Together they must have done wonders for you inner Norse woman. The only thing missing is a drop spindle or perhaps a shield, depending on the kind of woman you identify with. :D

    1. Indeed! I suppose I'm more shield than spindle. I did try crochet once, but we didn't get along very well ;-)

    2. Well if you'll defend our village I'll spin some yarn and weave your clothing. :)