The snow fell very early this year.
Last year, it was after Christmas when the first snow appeared on the mountains around us. We are close to the sea, so mostly it rains.
But last week we had a spell of cold clear weather, and snow kissed the mountain tops.
Winter can be cruel here. Not in the Good-King-Wenceslas kind of way- but nevertheless it can sap at the soul. The dark nights, the constant wind and rain, the wet cold that seems to soak into your bones.
The hillsides become unstable sources of land slips, the whole landscape goes dead-bracken brown and lifeless, the trees skeletal against grey skies and the pine forests become one huge dark moss sponge.
For those of melancholic disposition, such as myself, there is a beauty to these winters. The shafts of cold sunlight that periodically turn the dull browns to shining bronze. The empty wildness of the landscape. But I know I will come to long for the springtime.
I have friends who experience depression. For them, winter is a dangerous time, containing the possibility of the end of hope. The days deny the reality of the coming of soft days and renewal, and just leave a dark tunnel with no distant exit point.
For us all, there is a pressing need for to transcend the darkness. To find light. To put it on like a coat and walk in it.
To dwell in warmth and companionship, to see beauty and to celebrate it.
Some things make this more possible- and for me, one of these things is snow…
The first snows of winter bring blessing
To the hills and the mountains.
Now blue white crystal and pure
Soon rain will bring spoil and destruction
Turning the white mottled brown
Releasing the streams
Yesterday’s secret tears running down
But for now
My vision is draw to the highlands
Captured by sparkling sunlight
Shining but showing no shadow
Driving the darkness away
Dressing up light for the dancing and leading me on
Dressing up light for the dancing, then it’s gone.