The last month of the year has arrived – perhaps unexpectedly for some, and for others much anticipated. December is traditionally a time when everything picks up pace – at least for the first 23 days of the month – so it’s worth bearing in mind this reminder from Siegfried Sassoon to stop, take a breath and make the most of the stillness that is there to be found around us – and within us, even when things seem chaotic.
December stillness, teach me through your trees
That loom along the west, one with the land,
The veiled evangel of your mysteries.
While nightfall, sad and spacious, on the down
Deepens, and dusk imbues me where I stand,
With grave diminishings of green and brown,
Speak roofless Nature, your instinctive words;
And let me learn your secret from the sky,
Following a flock of steadfast journeying birds
In lone remote migration beating by.
December stillness, crossed by twilight roads,
Teach me to travel far and bear my loads.