And the world glistened white and shining. It is cold as cold but the sky is vivid and the air sings with cold. The birdfeeders are thronged with birds who fluttered and twittered in the trees as I filled them. Even the woodpecker has been swinging and tapping on the peanuts all day long.
The valley is perfect and untrodden. If you watch for long enough you will see a quadbike making its way along the other side, down the steep slopes, a bale of hay strapped to it . You will see the sheep gathering or the sharp black shape of a horse moving across the field towards the black shape of the woods. A tractor makes it way along the road in the bottom of the valley but no cars move. No post comes.
The hedges are works of art.
We have spent the day shovelling snow, bringing in logs and kindling, tramping down to the pumphouse which controls our water supply, checking and sorting, feeding the chickens and the cats and the peacock. The weather forecast predicts days of low temperatures and further snow and ice. I try to take the sensible precautions and I feel the little leap of apprehension at the power of the weather and what can still come. But let us just for a moment live the absolute beauty of today.