Winter Lights

Snowdrops seem somehow to appear suddenly, just when you need them most. Two days ago there were only green shoots to be seen except for in one or two dark and sheltered corners, where along with the green some traces of white were just starting to show, and now clumps of these little starry flowers are all around. I kept catching my breath as I saw a new cluster of them, and I just stood still and smiled. I sometimes find myself exclaiming out loud, because on a day like today with so much that’s dark and gloomy on the ground and even in the sky, the sight of these is like having a light turned on in your heart. I literally breathed in the sight of them and soaked them up, and the whole day felt measurably brighter.

Not that there isn’t colour in the landscape, even on dull days. Yesterday the sun was shining intermittently through thick cloud so that patches of hillside were lit up as if by a spotlight, and now and again I managed to catch one of these events as it happened.

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