Through autumn into winter, it has been predominantly grey, wet, and windy in my part of the world. Temperatures have sometimes reached double figures although, without the sun’s warmth, it has often felt colder than what it is. When the sun has been allowed to shine, it has often been at day’s end, creating a fire on the horizon that is visible beyond the trees.
Last week, after tiny flurries of snow, we had a night and day of hard frost. I waited for the morning’s fog to lift to reveal blue skies and brilliant sunshine.
The thaw had already begun so I hurried out and, in my enthusiasm, I forgot to put on gloves, hat, and scarf.
When I’m out in winter’s beauty, I can sometimes forget just how cold it is. I wander and explore. I marvel at frozen air bubbles on the lake, and the uncertain edge between frozen and fluid water.
I listen to the frost dripping from the trees beneath a timid blue canopy, and hear the melancholy honk of two brilliant white whooper swans (wintering here from Iceland) as they fly past.
My heart skips at the sight of a frost-bitten rose in its prime.
It’s refreshing to be out in nature with the sun on my face and the thawing ice beneath my feet, and the song and chatter of busy birds offering their sweet music. I have spent too many days and nights huddled in my writer’s nest, partly lost in the realm of stories from the past and those yet to be written.
The days are starting to lengthen now. Slowly, the light is lingering with each passing week. There are early signs of spring: green shoots emerging from beneath the decay of last autumn’s leaves. Buds are thickening on some sun-lit branches, and there are even hazel catkins here and there.
The ice is thawing around the lakes, and bird song and the magic of water steals my thoughts leaving me transfixed in the transience.
Winter isn’t over just yet and that is fine. I’m embracing everything that this season brings, along with the opportunity to read by candle-light, be cosy, dream, rejuvenate, and linger in the hibernating darkness. There is a special kind of magic in winter, even when it’s wet and grey, and I’m grateful for every moment.