“We feel cold, but we don’t mind it, because we will not come to harm. And if we wrapped up against the cold, we wouldn’t feel other things, like the bright tingle of the stars, or the music of the aurora, or best of all the silky feeling of moonlight on our skin. It’s worth being cold for that.”
― The Golden Compass
Winter Solstice. The shortest day of the year, which sometimes, can feel like the longest.
I’m driving home from a much-needed oil change for my car. I know what day it is and yet I don’t want to focus on the sad but on the date, the season. Claude Debussy’s beautifully romantic, and to me, sad, Clair de Lune starts to play on the radio.
I feel nostalgic and though my heart pinches a little, I smile as I drive. I can’t help but think of Mick and Mémère (my grandmother) dying on the same day, five years apart. Winter Solstice. I don’t know why there is something right about it.
We had gone up north to visit my mother and, of course, did a side trip two villages over to visit my grandmother – we always made sure we did. She must have been about 85-87-89?, give or take, when she told us of a dream she had had.
I dreamt that you were my boyfriend, Mick. Môman was not happy about it at all. She said to me ‘What are you doing with an English boy? You don’t even speak it properly!’ I answered to my mother: ‘But I love him!’
Well, needless to say, she was giggling as she told us the story. And Mick being Mick was not one to let such a thing go. Every single time we went up north, he’d sidle up to Mémère, wrap his arm around her shoulder, give her a squeeze and a kiss on the cheek and say “Allô, Bébé! Comment ça va ma chérie?”*
She’d blush furiously, playfully slap him on the arm while hugging him back then give a big smile followed by an “Oh you!” Their love was real.
I wonder if he is still teasing her now?
New Year’s Eve 2008
*How are things, my darling?