The Blanket of Beira and Winter’s Tea

Dec 8th, 2013 | By | Category: Tiffany Chaney

The Blanket of Beira and Winter’s Tea

The Cailleach keens a crisp howl, sweeping the autumn leaves off the world’s porch. She ungreens the bonny hills and cans summer’s squash. Tomatoes are tart in the vinegar glass jars frosted with snowflakes. The dawn rises later every day and the lady begins her Winter’s walk with her dogs in the last dark of night. She takes the long walk, stretching the blanket of night behind her. Sometimes the dogs give a bitter frosty bite.

Her staff strikes the land and frost feathers striations of snowflake silk. Tree boughs crack like old achy joints. When she passes your home, be sure to have the hearth raving wild warmth. If an old woman blue in the face knocks at your door, offer her Winter’s tea.  She is Beira, Queen of Heaven, who built the mountains. Let her regale you with tales of her Winter’s walks. She may watch the children while you bring in the last of your grain. She will host tea parties and play with the corn dollies with the children, giving each of them names: Holly, Yarrow, and Bramble Berry.

The dogs will yawn and sleep by the fire. When the day brightens on the first of February, she will show you the logs that will burn the longest and brightest. Yes, offer her Winter’s tea and she will share the wisdom of her long walks, how she blankets the world with silence for a season. So let us gather around the hearth and await her visit. Boil the water. Stock the shelves. Steep the herbs. Wrap blankets around the weary soul. Sip patiently.

tiffany chaney photoTiffany Chaney is an artist and writer residing in North Carolina, USA. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Salem College and is Founding Editor of Recto Verso Review, serving as Art Editor of Thrush Press. Her poetry collection Between Blue and Grey (2012) can be requested at any book retailer or purchased at

One Comment to “The Blanket of Beira and Winter’s Tea”

  1. Martin Pallot says:

    “Wrap blankets around the weary soul”…Beautiful. x

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