Emerging from hibernation

These past few days I have woken up to a world covered by a heavy frost but with a weak sun trying to burn through the haze. Winter may not yet be done but there are the first signs of spring in the garden with the trees starting to grow their buds and the early flowers coming into bloom. Even my chickens are laying a few more eggs.

As if to herald the promise of new growth after the long sleep of winter my own life is becoming busier. I have a run of appointments over the next few weeks as I attend to the maintenance required to keep my body sound and presentable. Today it was a trip to the opticians where I discovered that, unsurprisingly, I needed a stronger prescription to allow my eyes to relax more whilst reading. The young and friendly optician assured me that this was nothing to worry about, just an age thing. I think I knew that without the reminder.

With the sun trying to break through the haze and the bitter east wind finally blown through I decided to walk into town for my appointment. What a good decision that was. The trees are still bare of leaves and the fields soggy after recent floods but the paths were dry and the walk delightful. The lanes were quiet of traffic and only a few cyclists and dog walkers passed me when I left the roads to make my way into town. Fishermen lined the river and I even saw a pair of swans. It is a lovely day here in sunny Wiltshire.

By the time I had finished in town and started the uphill walk home it had warmed up sufficiently for me to remove my coat – a first for outside this year. My legs were too stiff from yesterdays workout at the gym to gambol like a lamb (and I am of course far too old for such antics) but I felt young and cheerful inside. What a difference a bit of fresh air, warmth and sunshine can make to one’s mood.

It is not just I who have become busier with the advent of spring. The warmer seasons are always active times for my children. The first camping trip of the year is approaching along with a school trip abroad and a more local activity weekend. Although they are capable of sorting and packing for themselves my kids still expect all that they need to be available to take. Thus I am required to keep on top of who is going where, when and with what. I also need to sort out who needs the services of the parental taxis. Thus far I think we are required to be in only two places at any one time. Sometimes it can get more complicated.

The first couple of months of this year have been a time of introspection for me but I do now feel ready to spread my wings a little and venture out into society. I am calmer and even a little more confident than at the start of the year.  It is not that anything in particular has changed other than my ability to cope. Whatever the reason for my minor meltdown over the festive season I seem to have come through. The arrival of the sunshine can only help with my mental rehabilitation.

Perhaps it is now a time to look forward, to allow a few buds of my own to grow. Who would have thought that a walk in the warmth and sunshine could have made me feel so positive? There is new life in the air and I feel ready to embrace it and live.



Waiting for Spring

It didn’t arrive yesterday. I am wondering if it will arrive today. When March begins, Spring is supposed to be just around the corner, but all I can see is a very straight, dull, damp and cold road ahead. I am so tired of feeling cold all the time. I want to be outside, with the sun warming my body and cheering my mood. I want to be able to wash my well worn winter coats and put them away for another year. Looking at the weather forecasts, I don’t think it is going to be happening any time soon.

As I get older my moods seem to be affected more by the weather. Apart from the decade between me becoming an adult (in the eyes of the law at least) and getting married, when I regularly travelled far and wide, I have not been one to seek the sun abroad. My husband does not enjoy inactivity or heat and there would be no pleasure in holidaying with his irritation and grumpiness. I am considering not organising a summer holiday for the family this year after his negative reaction to last year’s effort. He is the only one who wants to be up and out early each morning whilst on holiday and it is so hard trying to please everyone.

The last few year’s have not offered a great deal of summer sunshine in this part of the world and I think it is this that I am finding difficult to deal with; the lack of hope that a warm summer will arrive. I feel no need to go far away in order to enjoy a holiday; I would rather not have to travel as I no longer enjoy the busy roads, queues of people and waiting around that this involves. I would like to be able to bask in some sunshine though. I believe that my ideal location for this is my own back garden. I like dry, hot, sunny weather; if it can be enjoyed at home then my husband cannot complain that it is my fault he has to endure it.

The snowdrops have been out for a few weeks now and the daffodils are  beginning to bloom. These bright and hopeful little flowers bring with them the promise of an end to the cold, damp, dreariness of winter. I am impatient for the change of season. I want to put away my thermals and enjoy being outside again. The bitter, biting wind of the past few weeks is too hard to wrap up against. Even my chickens are desperate for some sunshine. When the slightest of rays breaks through the clouds they will crowd around the small patch of sunlight to stretch their wings and draw in it’s warmth. They know what is good for them.

Of course, there is no point in berating the weather as it must simply be borne. There are other ways to find cheer. I can curl up by the fire with a good book; I can close the curtains against the cold and watch a film; I could even gain satisfaction from completing the many jobs around the house that  I too often choose to ignore (realistically this is unlikely to be my activity of choice). I long for sunshine but it will not be hurried by my impatience.

I will not wish my life away so continue to face each day with a determination to spend it in the best possible way. ‘We smile at the ignorance of the savage who cuts down the tree in order to reach its fruit; but the same blunder is made by every person who is over eager and impatient in the pursuit of pleasure.’ I will remember that, if I am finding it hard to cope with the relentless cold, I will appreciate the warmth and sunshine all the more when it arrives. The seasons will change in their own time. Perhaps we will even have a dry, hot, sunny summer this year. I hope so.

English: Sheep and Lambs,St.Nicholas A field o...