A frostbitten heart

Image: Pixabay

Each time the snow fell, covering the land in ankle deep crunch, she went looking. And when ice turned the world to a hard snap, she searched then too.

She looked for the lamppost’s prism of glass, for dancing shadows falling on iron earth, for the faun and his parcels of paper and string.

Standing under heavy white firs, she listened for the chatter of beavers, for the sleigh bells’ frosty chime. 

Always Winter, never Christmas.

The lack of magic became a physical pain, as if the cold had bitten her heart, broken it into glassy shards. Even the brilliant snow held no pleasure for her, as if it was already easing to slush.

She’s old now, still searching. Still driven on by that frostbitten heart. But sometimes, as she plants a powdery kiss on my cheek, I smell rosewater and lemons

and I wonder…

***

For those unfamiliar with the references, do take a look here.

I’m unsure if this is a cautionary tale about fruitlessly seeking magic in a world where none remains, or one cautioning against giving up hope too soon. You decide.

That’s it from me until after Christmas. As you read this I’ll be at work, selling holly and ivy and glitter to the good folk of Bristol.

Happy Christmas all and see you once the glorious madness is over.

44 thoughts on “A frostbitten heart

    1. Loved some of the moments in that book – went off it when I learned it was a Christian metaphor. Now, the dark is rising by Susan Cooper, there’s a magical book. Herne the hunter, magic black smiths, special track ways of the old ones, symbols. And all set in a deep, gnawing snow. Marvelous

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      1. I can’t recommend the book highly enough. I know my feelings about it are different, having read it as an adolescent. But it’s so very British, very rural, full of folk lore, I’m sure you’ll find something in it too like

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  1. I recognized the references immediately, and could feel (and relate to) the woman’s longing for magic and wonder. It reminded me a bit of the book “Every heart a doorway” about children who have returned from portal worlds back into the mundane world, and are forever seeking their way back to magic. And you know me, I’ll take the interpretation that you should keep magic in your heart and never let it go. ❤

    Happy holidays, merry Christmas, and best wishes for a bright new year! See you (er, read you) in 2020!

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      1. I did have a very lovely Christmas, thank you! Then we had a wonderful time seeing Hamilton in San Francisco. Now we’re gearing up for a NYE party but the glitch is that I developed a sore throat/cough last night. Uh-oh! Hopefully not a reprise of what I had a couple weeks ago…

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      2. It was great fun! Eating too many appetizers and desserts and drinking too much champagne and singing lots of songs accompanied by the pianist friend and staying up too late. Perfect!

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  2. I also am a fan of the Chronicles of Narnia so immediately went “there”.. This was absolutely lovely, Lynn. Beautifully written and yes, we must keep searching for (or creating) magic…

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    1. Glorious madness indeed. Reminded me of the lion, the witch and the wardrobe. Here’s to getting on the other side of that threshold! Bye for now…

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      1. I knew it! Thanks Dale! Ha, I feel so sharp! I’ll enjoy the feeling while it lasts. Already wearing off…

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    2. Thanks Dale. You’re right, the search continues and we do find it, I think, when we’re lost in the world of a book, when the writing flow gets going. It feels like magic. Happy new year x

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  3. Lovely descriptive writing, Lynn. I’ll take as the message that it’s good to follow your dreams and, if you’re tenacious and lucky enough, you may just realise them – or at least the shadow of them. And, in a way, that would echo my life which I have found, taken as a whole, satisfying and fulfilling.
    Have a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

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    1. What a lovely comment Penny. And what a wonderful thing to be able to say if your life so far. Long may it continue that way! Have a wonderful new year and here’s to us all being tenacious enough to follow the magic

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  4. I don’t think her heart isn’t frostbitten. It’s the world she sees that’s icy. Her heart is warm, still waiting for the magic.
    Lovely story, Lynn, the best type of seasonal sentiments. Have a peaceful and magical Christmas 🙂

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    1. You know, I think you’re right. Though of course, in real life many of us would think she’s utterly deluded. But who doesn’t still hope to catch a sight of something magical out the corner of their eye? I think it’s why I write so much fantasy, because I want the things I imagine to be possible. Have a great new year, Jane

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      1. Thanks Lynn, you too.
        That’s exactly what a friend said to me yesterday when I queried the plausibility of some socio-cultural aspect of her novel, and she said she didn’t care. She wrote fantasy so she wouldn’t have to be bothered with whether society would ‘allow’ this or that. She wrote her own society where anything she wanted was ‘allowed’.

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      2. I think it depends very much on how the world works. Fantasy worlds are often patriarchal and as such, I can’t see the plausibility of women slotted into key positions just where it suits the author. I”m maybe too literal minded, but I do like people to behave like the people I’m used to, not like aliens with completely different thought processes.

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      3. I agree there. It adds to the plausibility of a world of the characters act in ways we recognise. They could be giant lizards or centaurs but if they get irritated, laugh, cry, love in ways we recognise we’ll buy into the world

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      4. That’s the way I feel too. And when we base our fantasy world on a recognisable social structure, it’s hard to accept exceptions to the rules we know unless there’s a plausible reason given.

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  5. This was just beautiful, Lynn – such gorgeous imagery, and I loved the references, too. However, just like you, The Dark Is Rising was something that resonated even more strongly with me as a child, and does now… 🙂 Hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas and wishing you a Happy New Year!

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    1. Ah, thank you Helen. Yes, TDIR was my seminal book growing. I wished and wished to be Will Stanton, sadly the Old Ones weren’t listening 🙂 Hope you had a lovely Christmas too and have a wonderful, productive 2020. How’s your rewrite coming, BTW? All ready to return to the agent fray next year?

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