Writing is both mask and unveiling. ~ E.B. White

If you can find a south-facing wall in February, on a warmish day when the sun is shining, you can plant yourself in a chair and take off your parka, sit bare-armed with your face to the sky, and feel as though Spring has arrived and the quest to lose the wan hue of winter skin has begun.

All at once, when a lonely cloud drifts in front of the sun, you can step around a corner and be confronted by the fury of a wild blast of wind, fighting through the insta-gale to pull your parka back on and humbly feel as though winter has gifted you a reality check.

But you didn’t want a reality check, did you? You wanted to pretend a little while longer, that things were good and right and that the world was a safe place to be. You wanted to believe that the pendulum of change and grief and mystery was on the way back to centre, so you could find your footing. You wanted to believe that you were close enough to the sun to feel her imprint long after she was hidden.

But you were wrong.

So your wings melted like wax, and you crashed back down, your fall broken only by the compost of dead things, past things.

And your spirit, crushed and broken, barren and unravelled, was slowly stitched together in the richness of the dark earth.