Absolutely not! It's the promise I hold on to from the moment I pack away the Christmas wrappings and trappings, through the endless weeks of Jack Frost's bite, until Mother Nature's first warm breath. It's not that I don't appreciate winter; it's good to have variety in life, provided well by four distinct seasons. As many have pointed out too, how exciting would all of spring's life and colour be if it wasn't preceded by winter's blank palate and frigid temperatures?
When it comes to diversity, however, Old Man Winter has been bringing it on his own in our corner of the world this year. Despite predictions of an extra long, extremely cold season with lots and lots of snow, we've been hit with everything including unseasonable warmth and drizzle. Winter started slowly, allowed us freedom to move during the holidays and has taken us through most of January without burying us under a blanket of white.
And with today's rain and the promise of a week above freezing, how can my thoughts not turn to spring. In just a little over two months (think how quickly the time has passed since the American Thanksgiving) we will celebrate the solstice. While winter will struggle to maintain its hold, the warming sun will encourage early buds to burst through the earth. First the bold snowdrop, then the lively crocus will give us hints of what's to come.
It's these images that will push me through the next couple of months. Plowing through mounds of snow on my way to work, travelling through whiteouts with the same alacrity and purpose as I drive clear summer roads, digging out the driveway and clearing my car without complaint, I dream.
I am wistful for the days when I can bound out of doors unfettered by layers of heavy clothing. I think with longing in my heart of gaining time without the sweeping, shovelling and bundling. I yearn for evenings on the deck, the soft music of songbirds serenading in the background. I am excited for the freedom of open roads and clear visibility.
Today as I look out the window at the greyest of days, at a steady shower that's washing away the ice and snow in preparation for the next blast, I fill my mind with images of sunshine and light. In these there are pretty flowers, flitting butterflies and sun reflecting of a chilled glass of wine.
If you too are looking forward to spring's imminent arrival, because even on our worst winter days we know it will arrive, please enjoy these delightful images. Full of all the beauty that accompanies the season of birth and new beginnings, may they inspire you as we wade through the next few month.
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