Thoughts on Coleridge’s Frost at Midnight.
Making time for Abstruser Musings.
‘Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of the mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.’
There’s nothing better for Mind and Soul than switching off all your technology and sitting by the last glowing embers of a late-night winter fire. You might take a book of poems from the shelf and find one that consoles you; you might sit alone, reflecting, or sit as Coleridge did, with a sleeping child in your arms, and listen to the gentle silence of a peaceful night-time house.
The clock ticking, a log falling as it crumbles into ash, a mouse scratching in the skirting. Ice flowers on the windowpane, melting at the edges.
This is luxury in the modern age. It’s the true luxury of living a settled daily life led at a slow pace in a traditional home. The blessed luxury of routine, of natural patterns, of meals well-digested and long nights of restorative sleep — the luxury of time, of finding one’s level and allowing one’s mind to reflect and wander at its own pace. Circadian rhythms, if you like.
Turn the pages of your book and pull your dressing-gown closer around as the fire dies. Forget about what Must be Done, the nine to five or the twelve hour shift, traffic jams, the haters, the ever-demanding boss, the council tax you cannot afford, and the credit card bill. These things are not what Life is about.
Listen to your heartbeat slowing in the silence and feel your Spirit fly.
(first published on Medium)