It took me 39 chances, but this year I finally learned how to love winter; to love it for what it is rather than see it as the unpleasant thing before spring. Luckily, I will now have half a lifetime of lovely winters.
I am happy that spring is here. But I have enjoyed this winter more than I ever thought possible, even though it has been the wettest in 250 years apparently. It think it’s because I stopped and noticed it. Winter is subtle, and I needed to earn its friendship; it is not quite so freely given as the other seasons. Winter is strong and silent. There’s a lot going on under the surface. It’s easy to think it is grumpy and unplayful.
Winter is full of hidden gems, surprises invited out by the astonishing change that winter preludes and sets up. Here are a few of my favourites of the last three months…
- Campfires in the cold
- The silhouette of bare trees
- Mornings that smell of mountains
- Forest views unobstructed by leaves and bracken
- Buds: as distinctive as leaves, just smaller
- Moss. The nonconformist who likes to grow during winter
- Billows of foggy breath on waking up in the morning (generally when outside; have not been allowed to recreate this in my bedroom)
- Hats: No need to think about hairstyles
- Bright creamy sprouts pushing out of dark brown chestnuts and acorns
- The central heating coming on while I’m sat against a radiator
- The surprise of the first snowdrop, the alien splash of colour from the crocuses, the unexpected appearance of daffodils in the middle of the lawn
- The delight of the first visit from the bumblebee, brimstone butterfly, spider
- Putting fresh hailstones in my sandwich
Goodbye winter until December - there is now a better reason to look forward to Christmas, than Christmas.