By day I find it hard to believe the forecasts predicting snow this weekend, yet having just been painting furniture on the roof post sundown (aka bedtime) I’m nearer to being convinced it could come! Surreal though to be thinking of snow when all around us the world is alive with a buzz echoing spring not frost. Bare trees, empty streets, sad dry soil beds forgotten of the flowers they may have held, parents wrestling coats onto unconvinced children, lone gloves stick sodden to pavements: Unlike autumn, whose golden hues skip your brain over the barren of cold that lies ahead, winter usually brings with it that barrenness incarnate yet here, in December, winter looks nothing like this. Instead the streets, and fields are alive with harvesting. Men in flat caps and women in şalvar scale pallet-built ladders to drop green and black gemstones to nets spread underneath. Tractors and trailers carry workers to the land, then later olives and workers home again along roads shared with bicycles and family cars. Here outside our home, roses again are in bloom. How did I not notice before that roses bloom again and again through the year, fading just long enough to let you notice their presence once more?
And yet winter is here, though day may hide its presence. After dark, when stars climb the peaks of the mountains, smoke plumes from the chimneys across the town. Animals are brought inside and salep signs light up in cafe windows. And a clear certain sign; the ice sheets on slide seats to be stick poked and burst in our mornings. We’ve never known December here but as the first paint strokes hit the cupboards and wooly hats snuggle ears, it seems a perfect month to lose a few gloves while rounding out an Iznik first year. Snow time and sledging are upon us inshallah. Dairy-free salep, babyones?