Monday 11 December 2023

A Christmas Bubble by Jane Claire Jackson, elderflower cordial

 Under the canopy of the clouds swaddling the mountains, we nestle in a bubble, actors in a snow globe, and life pauses for the holiday.

The fridges are well-stocked. The cabinet’s full of bottles. There's Christmas cake, stollen and mince pies. We won't want for food and drink.

We sit at the table playing a board game, snapping up train lines, implanting stations, in our race across Europe.

The scent of the Christmas tree competes with the odour of the fire as the flames dance behind glass, wrapping us in radiating warmth.

When we step outside the door, we've donned hats, scarves and gloves. The dog pulls at its lead, eager to advance through the grey landscape, over the stone bridge with the brook babbling below, up the lane and into the slumbering trees. We disturb the silence, breathe in the precious air, alone on ancient footpaths, feeling a connection with the earth.

We’re struck by the contrast between the twinkly lights and colourful decorations indoors versus the dull greys and browns of the wintry mountainsides outdoors. Here, gnarled branches are draped in lacy lichen and paths are lined with fallen leaves, empty seed cases and other debris discarded during the autumn.

The bubble’s readying to burst. Tomorrow we’ll take to the road, climb out of the valley, over the mountains and away home to a flatter landscape in the North. The demands of work and home life will once again take up our time and this Christmas will remain captured in photographs and memories and a few hastily scribbled words.


About the author 


Jane Claire Jackson is a Welsh writer who now lives in the Normandy countryside. She likes nothing more than sitting beside the fishpond in her garden with a notebook and pen. (@JaneJackson76) 

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