White and Light

I had a day of white and light. Near enough to Imbolc, the light starting to seep in at the edges of each day. The beginning of the beginning of Spring. The time of a little hope.

The day had been predicted- a full array of heart gladdening yellow suns at every hour on the online forecast. So I called a friend for our annual snowdrop walk.

It’s a deep, green, steep-sided lane. The kind you can’t see out of at first- the sides that have built up alongside the overhanging hedgerows, over centuries, covered with moss and harts tongue ferns. As Spring truly approaches, later in the year, it’s also studded with primroses, like little lights among the rich green.

But the reason this particular ancient lane is so special is the display of wild snowdrops in February. All along the steep sides, spilling into, under, along the hedgerows.

Their pure soft whiteness illogical- managing somehow to pull off the same trick as swans gliding over murky water. It feels as if they should have been smudged with the deep greens and dusty browns of the earth as they pushed their way upwards. Yet they emerge, pure, clean, white. As if they haven’t ever been part of the earth they’ve come from.

Some, in the shade, still closed. Pendulous, each one a drop of snow, about to drip. Others, in full sun, open and looking as if they’re just about to to take off and soar.

The beginning of the beginning. You can find it if you know where to look.

We trudge back down the muddy, wet, difficult lane, avoiding the small river that runs down the middle, with smiles on our faces. Passing the muddy puddle, frozen on the way up. Now thawed.