Goodbye to winter
This winter has felt exceptionally long. Perhaps it is the state of affairs in the world, the constant anxiety of going from a pandemic to a war in Europe that affects the mood, but this year the winter has really felt never-ending. It may also be the enormous masses of snow we have had that has made it seem longer than usual. As soon as it has started to melt, a new snowstorm has appeared on the horizon. It is almost as if nature itself is feeling what we humans feel.
All through January and up until the end of February I was quite enjoying the snow. The world around me had turned into Narnia with long blue evenings and fairy lights in the gardens. There is a quietness that descends on the world when it is covered in snow; all sounds become muffled. After I fed the chickens in the morning I walked my route along the road and through the forrest, bathing in the quiet of a sleeping world. In the evenings I crept in under the duvet obscenely early and re-read Moominland Midwinter with a cup of tea with honey. Luna stopped going out and spent her days sleeping happily in her favourite chair and her nights on a pillow next to me.
Then in March the snow that fell became wet and heavy, and the brilliant cold sunshine of winter turned into rain during the days. The roads iced over at night, and as yet more snow arrived walking became hazardous with layers of white fluff covering the slippery bits. "Perhaps you are right, Luna" I said to her. "Perhaps all this outdoor activity is overrated." Instead I turned to looking at reviews of gardening books online, and soon enough such a steady stream of hard packages started turning up at the post office in my local shop that the lady behind the desk stopped asking for my id and started having them ready for me when I came to pick them up.
As a result I have a great many ideas for the coming season. The deer are actively applauding them, as they have been thrilled by the buffet of shrubs I serve up. I am less thrilled at their enthusiasm for my garden, and it's not an unusual sight to find me on the terrace flailing my arms and screaming insults at them. They don't mind in the least. They happily flap their ears and twitch their tails, and are in no hurry to go anywhere. But just they wait and see. I'm getting a puppy this summer, and then we'll see who has the last laugh.