Wreath

The day after the General Election.

I suppose we all cope with unfortunate news in our own way (for some people the news was not unfortunate, though I don’t know any of those people). I went out for coffee with friends as had been the plan for weeks. When I got in I didn’t know what to do with myself.=, but I knew I had to make something.

I made a wreath – not a funeral wreath, though it crossed my mind – but an evergreen winter wreath. I needed to be outside, to feel the cold, to stand in the last of today’s winter sun.

I gathered my string and the remains of last year’s wreath. My favourite orange secateurs and trusty wire snippers.

I went foraging for greenery, not far because we’re blessed with a lovely garden. We have huge cypress trees – I’m not sure what variety, maybe more than one – at the bottom of the garden. They’re usually filled with woodpigeons bouncing on the branches. When you cut a bough there is a delicious resiny smell.

Just being out there in the sun with the wind creaking the trees helped my mood. I twined green branches round and round, in the cold, outside, until I couldn’t feel my fingers.

I had rosemary to hand as well, variegated holly which hadn’t quite grown its prickles yet, and red japonica berries, because this holly does not bear a berry this year it seems.

It is a little thing, but this hour outdoors with greenery helped my head a little, and the wreath is on the door to welcome our Christmas visitors.

I have just finished listening to the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of ‘Middlemarch’ so I’ll finish with these words of Eliot’s, spoken by Dorothea Brooke:

“What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?”

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