Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Snow and cakes

It’s been snowing almost continuously all day. Just beyond the house gardens a fairly inconspicuous little machine like a small tractor with tank treads pulling a long trailer has continued driving slowly up and down what has become a tree graveyard. Its attachment, like a metal hand with many adjustable prongs, once the tractor has stopped, can open and grip several tree trunks and deftly swing them onto the trailer.  When the tractor is moving slowly and the metal hand is not clamping and lifting trees, it swings innocuously at the end of the trailer. 

I’m sorry for the driver, out in this weather. I am more sorry for the trees, whose presence and shelter I took for granted, and for the birds who lived in them. I put bird food out several times today. These birds, my regulars, live in the large and sprawling hedge in my front garden. Perhaps they will be cosy enough there, the snow and hedge branches forming a kind of igloo.

We humans are great story makers. We create stories or narrative tales out of – let’s say perceptual material. The creative substance being the imaginative faculty, that seems to arise in the mind, working with a mixture of sense perceptions and memory. We fashion stories out of our lives, from a journey to a destination, to a visit to a friend, whatever happens, we have the capacity to shape raw material into a story.

From a young age don’t we love to listen to stories or read them? I think that creating stories of our lives we engage that higher perceptual faculty or consciousness. I remember the first time I experienced that I was about 7 or maybe 8 years old walking on my own one morning beside cliffs and sea, during the summer holidays, going into the small town to buy rolls for breakfast for the family. Feeling a sense of joy in the early morning and my surroundings I discovered that there was also an observer present, which was also myself, describing what was happening at the same time as I was living it. 

I’m not sure what links these lovely edible creations with the snow and the logs and the tree-collecting machine other than contiguity in time. The hedge branches laden with snow lean over the garden, the snow piles up on the path and I wonder how I will get to the bus stop tomorrow. Beauty in nature and beauty in creation. These cakes came all the way from Poland, (thank you so much J!) so carefully packed that only one of them was broken, the little rocking horse on the bottom left 

 I guess the snow won’t last long and the cakes certainly won’t.



Forest Dream Weaver said...

So sorry to hear about the trees and wildlife evictions.It's an ill wind as they say so I guess you will be compensated with a good view of sunrise.Change in one fell swoop! The cakes are beautiful and very creative.

Anonymous said...

Hi Morelle, enjoyed the contrasts in this post – your B&W snowscapes juxtaposed with those sinfully tempting Polish cakes. Sorry you’ve lost those trees; just glad your wee birds have a cosy home in your front hedge. Most of all, though, I like your ruminations on storytelling, the way we draw on experience to create with imagination. Your childhood realisation, walking beside cliffs and sea, that you were observing life whilst living it, already exercising your powers of description, reminds me of Wilfred Owen’s realisation of his poetic vocation aged 10, climbing Larkton Hill whilst on holiday with his mum in Cheshire.

Take care in the snow. Maureen and I look forward to seeing you in May.

My very best,


dritanje said...

Ruby - the snow has almost all gone now and the view is quite dramatic. Friends at the bottom of the hill have reported an increased number of bemused looking crows hanging out in their trees.

dritanje said...

Hi Paul, I like your description - the 'sinfully tempting' cakes, especially as I know you are partial to cakes! I didn't know that Wilfred Owen had a realisation of his poetic vocation in Cheshire - but delighted to know that. I started writing stories when I was 8 and I knew that's what I wanted to do from that age. These stories have not survived but it might have been interesting to read them, from the perspective of decades later.
Yes, it will be great to see you 2 in May!!
Till then, may the force be with you

Anonymous said...

The squirrel (upper left corner) lost its tail, so it's hard to recognise it's a sqirrel actually :)

dritanje said...

Ah thank you dear anonymous, now you mention it, the squirrel is indeed tail-less or ohne Schwanz, but I saw it as a small plump animal perhaps a sitting up mouse, with a beautifully decorated body. Vielen dank fur diese schone Kuchchen:)

Anonymous said...

Cała przyjemność po naszej stronie :)
Can be a hamster, or - if you put it on its paws - a turtle :)

three sea horses said...

Oh I am so sorry about the trees, I can't imagine what its like without them, have you got any sort of tree left?
Beautiful photos though, lovely snow! I hope you have been keeping warm! One day spring will start to appear.. although the snowdrops here are already shooting up their green leaves.
Look forward to seeing you my dear when you are next about here!

dritanje said...

thanks 3 sea horses, it is strange without the trees, but new ones will be planted and there is a lot more light. Today is the coldest ever but the birds are singing away.
Yes, see you soon
M xx