Christmas in the twilight


Randomly roaming around the silent winter pond, crystalline, frosted blades of grass crackle beneath my steps; strange mushrooms, withered reeds, green-hued lichen. A crow-sized, bright bird with long wings glides past silently. In slow flight it patrols a few metres above the ground, following the contour of the slope…

When we talk about nature, we assign only certain properties to it. What we identify as authentic, remains merely an assignment thereof: beyond language, we are unable to determine what nature and authenticity actually are.

The barn owl observes me with its wise gaze, maybe or maybe not. A projection of a wish in the twilight: Nikolaus the grey steed, a puppy in the wet snow and a jewellery box nestling three hazelnuts inside, guarded by the owl.

The barn owl has always been seen as a migrant between the worlds. A sharp eye, excellent hearing and silent, stealthy flight. It turns its head to look over its opposite shoulder without any body movement. And because they are nocturnal hunters who strike silently, owls have always had an aura of the mysterious and special – their calm and engaging gaze seems to penetrate everything, into the interior, the hidden and the deep…

Take your time. Listen to the hoot of the barn owl. Open some nuts. It’s Christmas. (as)

Art by Johann Brandstetter

Barn Bradenstoke Winter