Winter has descended on our little townland. No more lazy waves from the neighbours, careless honks of the car horn. When I looked Westward today the horizon was dotted with white smoke billowing from the chimney tops. The cows looked miserable, wet, steamy, with a haunted morose air. The sky is invisible and the sleet dances off the back porch like miniature feet doing a jig. The porch itself is crowded with thrown off wellington boots and the coat stand packed with quilted jackets and hats. The central heating hums most of the day and the windows fog up with the cooking of soups and stews. The boys come home hungry and devour the batch of scones cooling on the countertop, the scones I made for tomorrow's breakfast! Still, there is always the oatmeal ready to be soaked. The dog rests in his bed in the middle of the kitchen floor. I trip over him in my knitted socks, he opens his eyes briefly, a flicker of lashes, before resuming his beagle-like snoring. I wish I could do that. Lie down and hibernate. Close the curtains and dream in a deep sleep and then, when Spring comes, wake up refreshed to watch the daffodils appear like yellow frosting on a cake dotted all over the lawn. These are the days when one turns inward, when one contemplates the meaning of the past and the meaning of the days to come, when all of what you have learnt is to be counted on, when wisdom and insight matter most. When like the turning of a page, you gather more, you are always moving on, even when it seems as if there is nothing to be gained.