When I awoke this morning I looked out at a landscape blotted out by mist and snow. Thomas was gone already, his half of the bed empty. He’s not usually an early riser, but he is when he’s living on his very own enthusiastic Lescure schedule. I just burrowed a bit deeper under the duvet and watched my breath rise into the frigid air. The estate has many faces depending on the weather and I must admit I have misgivings about the one it shows when damp fog cloaks the castle. What am I going to do with the rest of my life? What were we thinking buying this castle? Pensiveness. Pessimism. Gloom.
I know better than to hole up inside, so I decided to go for a brisk walk around the orchard. Clear the mind and get the blood pumping in subzero conditions. As my footsteps crunched through the frosty snow I felt my spirits rise. Mist swirled in, swallowing up the fruit trees and then revealing them again. A breathtaking and silencing scene. Until. Somewhere below in the hidden valley, a dog howled and I heard feet crunching up through the shrubs towards me. Nothing like a wild boar encounter to send the heart racing! But no, it was a deer. In mythology the deer is a messenger of serenity. Here was a sign not be too hard on myself, treat myself with gentleness and understanding, and continue along my path. Time to go inside, my mood greatly improved. My fingers and nose still tingling with cold, I lit candles and arranged bouquets with greenery from the woods. Over Christmas, friends in Scotland – no doubt inspired by the interiors of Balmoral and similar estates- presented us with a family-made stag’s head to mount on Lescure’s walls. This playful gift (just look at those golden antlers, the come hither lashes) became all the more precious. Thank you, Sandra!