This morning is cold. A thick frost lies heavily on the grass. Long thin contrails criss-cross the expanse of watery blue sky, while streaks of clouds meander way up high, like tattered curtains.
Everything is still, there is no breeze to stir the last remaining leaves clinging to the old oak tree. Through the frosty air comes the sound of birds chattering excitedly. Do they know that Christmas is coming? Do they feel a tremor of hope in the air?
I’ve just taken my dog for a walk, and it’s bitingly cold, with a heavy hoar-frost still lying on the grass. But despite the cold, it is a beautiful day; the sky is bright and cloudless, with only the vapour-trail of an aeroplane to break the intense blue. After the dull, damp, dismal days we’ve had recently, it is in truth a breath of fresh air – very fresh!
It’s been a strange winter so far, almost the warmest on record. In my garden, roses are still blooming, surrounded by clumps of campanula, with a scattering of blue star-shaped flowers peeping out from the foliage. A friend has seen a tree in full blossom, no leaves yet, but completely covered in tiny pink flowers. And on my walk this morning I spotted some frost encrusted daisies, nestling in the grass close to the path.
Spring might still be a long way off, but there are signs everywhere that winter will not last forever, and the ground is already producing new life.