What next?

It has just passed mid-day and the frost that was clinging to the top of the hedge is only now loosening its grip.  I’ve not thought much about this before but I’m slowly realising that there is something comforting about this time of year.


The photograph was taken before dawn when the fog had dispersed.

Not only was there frost but also fog, so that only a few of the trees in neighbouring gardens were visible from my house.  I live on the edge of town, not in a wood, and usually from my back door I can see oak, ash, copper beech, willow, bird cherry and a row of great leylandii.  However, this morning only the leylandii which come close to my house, and two oaks were visible.  The leylandii stand in a large brooding block, thankfully to one side of my house, otherwise, I might have no view at all.  The two oaks, now with most of their leaves removed by strong winds, looked like spectres appearing and disappearing from the drifting fog.

Wrapped up!  Enclosed!  Held!  Secured!  That’s what I was thinking about this morning; how the winter wraps its arms around me, comforting me like a big blanket, allowing me to dream and to make plans.

I awoke very early this morning, too early, and my dreams followed me into the study where I wrote these lines:

Somewhere on an ocean,

Floating on the sea,

Guided by Great currents,

A raft, a life and me.

Flying fish for breakfast,

Salted meats for tea.

Whale spouts, luminous nights,

Wind in the sail;

At home, on the restless sea.


I know this dream.  I’ve dreamt it before, more than once!

49 thoughts on “What next?

  1. That’s a very lovely poem, Ashley. I really enjoyed it.

    Also this sentiment is heartwarming:

    Wrapped up! Enclosed! Held! Secured! That’s what I was thinking about this morning; how the winter wraps its arms around me, comforting me like a big blanket, allowing me to dream and to make plans.


    1. Lovely poem Ashley that at first made me chuckle before I began to drift with the currents. Who knows where we’ll end up. I too get recurring dreams – many from childhood a long time ago now – I am finding that they get updated with my family often now appearing in them. Many dreams were about places which I later visited sometimes many years later and then wow a huge sense of deja vu.

  2. I love your poem Ashley, tout frais et frétillant sorti des eaux de la nuit ! 🙂 I usually like the starkness of Winter, but this year, somehow, can’t wait for light to come back. Thank you for sharing this beautiful photo with us.

  3. I enjoyed your poem, Ash-tree. I appreciate winter…it’s starkness and beauty, especially after a snow storm, but the only comfort I get in winter is my warm home. I like the painting, the depiction of your dream. Did you do the painting?

  4. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to savor the early morning waking up in all it’s frosty glory, and wonderful to swaddled in the warmth. And in amidst it to mull over dreams visiting. How did you create your illustration? It’s an image that has appeared to me in my dreams too.

  5. Thank you for a wonderful poem (I am a a huge fan of the sea) and winter thoughts.
    And lovely photo with frost on leaves and fairytale colours.
    Happy New Year to you and yours.

  6. Ashley,
    I am happy because I see the white sail of Tiki,
    I am happy to travel through your eyes this serene and nourishing ocean.
    I love the menu, specially the one for the tea.
    This raft needs to live, and I only see you to lead us there.
    And I also like the contrast between the morning landscape and the possibility of travel bathed in southern lights !!
    Please, we need some more poems, some more navigations …
    Je t’embrasse très fort Ashley

    1. Dear, dear Corinne! You recognised Tiki! He would be portrayed on my sail, of course! Your words are an encouragement and I shall try to live up to them as I sail westward! ‘Je ’embrasse tres fort’ in return🤗😘🤗😘🙏

  7. I love your poem and your description! And also the very first sentence: “It has just passed mid-day and the frost that was clinging to the top of the hedge is only now loosening its grip.” I think this is a great metaphor for the year which just left us and the new one which will blossom and, hopefully, bring us warmth and joy. The frost will disappear and the sunshine will filter through. 🙂 Hope you had a lovely beginning!

    1. Camilla, thank you for your perceptive thoughts. The first sentence is what draws in the reader. It’s not something that I deliberately set out to do here as I am not a professional writer, but I was really happy when I stopped to look back at it! 😘🤗😘

  8. I felt as though the sea enveloped me, adrift on a wave, calling my name. What peace and tranquillity. I miss Kauai this year and all the ohana. Its healing balm has restored my spirit in the past. For now, dreams must suffice. I especially love it when they’re in color! 🌴🌊

    1. Hi Gail, you spotted where I was drifting to in this post! Was Tiki the obvious clue? I’ve never actually travelled that far, perhaps it will always be a dream! 🎋😘🎋😘🙏

  9. Hi Ashley, I loved this post and your poem. So ethereal and magical and also hopeful and comforting. What a beautiful view you have. You only need to squint a little to remove the rooftops and it looks like an entirely rural scene.

    1. Thank you Charlotte for your lovely comments here! I’m on the edge of a small town so I’m able to walk into the countryside quite easily. 😘🙏

      1. We just sent you turtle mail to give an update on your turtle nest adoption. Your marker is attached. We sent it on the email you used to comment on our blog. Thank you again for supporting the turtles!

  10. Love your poem. Being held and comforted is so i.portant for our well being. I feel that, too, in the fog. It’s great you have so any trees around. Lovely post.

    1. Thank you, Andrea, for your lovely encouraging words. I wasn’t sure about putting the 2 different things together but it seems to work. I know some of the reasons behind the dream but am unsure what, if anything I should or can do about it. 🤗😘🙏

    1. Thank you Sandra for your lovely comments! We haven’t been out much so far this new year as it’s been cold, icy and very slippery, then we’ve all been put into lockdown again until the end of January! We just wish like everyone else that we could move out of this pandemic! Bring on that vaccine! 🙃😘

      1. So sorry Ashley! It’s got to improve at some point. I keep telling my daughter that. Don’t lose hope. It won’t be like this forever. Take good care!

    1. A very kind comment, thank you! I would like to try your suggestions but I have two difficulties: 1) I only have a mobile phone these days as I have had no luck with cameras and 2) we are currently advised only to travel for essentials! So for the time being I shall continue to dream! 🙏

  11. I should have revisited your beautiful winter garden earlier, as today I could hardly get through the crowd of dreamers, to add to the chorus of admiration for you as a poet and the painter of the vision of dreams, that we all share. Trust Corinne dreaming of the food!

    I love the garden and the poem, Ashley. You are the chosen one.

    Thank you.


    1. Dear Joanna, I am flattered by your lovely comments. Thank you! On a trip like this, one needs to be prepared and Corinne was just making sure there was enough sustenance for the journey 😋 which could be a long one. Here’s a little Eric Coates music to see us off:


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