The light is just beginning to fade as Alice and I head down the spiral staircase. There is a point in the afternoon when the light is exactly equal inside and out. Almost imperceptibly, the balance shifts and momentarily it is lighter outdoors. The pendulum has swung and it is time to turn on a low light inside. This shifting of light signifies an upcoming meal time to Alice.
I poke the fire back to flames and wander to the kitchen to make another cup of tea. My honey supply is low. I gave lots away over the holidays and have consumed my fair share. The fifty pounds in the garage, still in frames, needs to be extracted soon or I’ll be out.
One of my presents this Christmas was a jar of honey from my hospice client. His wife said it tasted very different from mine, and what a wonder a few miles could make in the life of a bee. I thought of them as I pulled the spoon laden with sunshine from the jar. A bit on my tongue before I plunged it into my mug. It was more flowery, earthy – honey from a farm. Mine is more citrus and woods. Thank you bees.
Alice pokes me in the hip and looks expectantly at her dish. It’s earlier than usual but what else does she have to look forward to? I ladle out her food and set it down as she dances and jabbers away in Chinese at me. I take my tea and walked to the back door to gaze at the sun casting its last glow over the ledges on the mountain. The wind kicks up and rattles the wind chimes banging one set against the house with a thud that sends Alice lurching into alarm-mode.
There’s a harshness to the light, a brittleness that reflects the frigid air outside our windows. Why choose to live in such a climate? Because it reminds me, change is unalterable.