The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

When I was a child I loved the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis, especially "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe".  I also adored "The Magician's Nephew" and "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader".  I remember sitting on the edge of my bed with a brand new copy of "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" in a white paper bag on the bed beside me, a present from my mother.  I could practically feel it singing to me.  I took it out, and looked at the cover and turned it over in my hands and put it back in the bag so that I could have the pleasure of taking it out again.  I knew that once I started to read it I would gallop through it, reading on the lavatory and in bed and on the bus to school, until I started to feel travel sick, reading at the table with the book on my lap until my mother caught me doing it.  I was a voracious reader and a fast one and the book would soon be finished, so spinning out the time before I began was a necessary part of extending the excitement.

My favourite bit of "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" was the part when the grip of the endless, spellbound winter loosened and the snow began to melt, the streams began to move and there was the sound of water running beneath the ice.  The snow softened and the grass began to show green.  The iron grip of ice and snow dissolved into a growing, greening, shifting world.

It has been a little like that up here today.  We have had deep, deep snow, drifting and forming heaving frozen seas in the kitchen garden.  The path in front of the house has been dug out and dug out again.  When I went for corn for the chickens this morning I had to dig out the steps down to the pigsty because they were buried in snow again.  The great white hat of snow above the grey slates of the bakehouse had slipped down in the night and dumped a ridge of snow on the path.  As I dug I heard the soft drip, drip, drip of water running into the cast iron gutters.  There was a crump and thump behind me and a huge ten foot wide avalanche of snow slid off the house roof and hit the ground by the porch.  Life was on the move again.

While the kale was still standing bravely in deep snow a trudge through the drifts down to the greenhouse revealed the first of the thaw.  There are gooseberries in there somewhere, struggling out above the snow amidst the bare apple trees.

And here is proof that the world is still green under all that white.  The kitchen garden faces south east and is catching the very first of the rise in temperature.  You do not have to go far to find the grip of winter still tight on the north side of the cottage.

But in front of the cottage where the big pots stand the violas have shaken off the snow.

I love them.  It may even be that we shall lose enough of the deep blanket of snow over the weekend for me to find some glaucous green snowdrops just poking through. 
It may not be spring but the snow is on the move.
How is it where you are?


  1. How lovely to see there is life after the snow. Ours was all gone by yesterday, I looked for snowdrops, but no sign of them yet - although that may have something to do with the mole that has moved into the garden.

    Love all the Narnia books.

  2. It has warmed up a bit today here on Long Island... but they're calling for more snow later in the week. Hopefully just a dusting - I'm still sore from my day of shoveling two weeks ago!

    I have found myself wandering around my gardens looking longingly at the ground, and then running back inside for a cup of something warming and looking at the plant nursery websites online... I am at the moment longing particularly for a Lavender Twist Weeping Redbud tree.

  3. You write beautifully about the simplest things. A real gift.

  4. That's my favorite passage in the book too, Elizabethm. And reading your blog has me further excited about the prospect of spring coming and bulbs pushing their way up to the sun and green things everywhere. Alas, that won't happen here in Nova Scotia for at least another 2 months.

    I guess I have to spend my time eating my free chocolate. (Thanks for dropping by my blog!)

  5. Life is moving here too.. running water, crashes as the roofs clear.. you put it all so well.. as always

  6. I love the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. When I was little and we'd go visiting, I was always sneaking off to explore the back of peoples wardrobes...just in case...

  7. Isn't it great to see green again Elizabeth. A slow, slow melt here today. Hoping to be able to have a proper reccie round the garden tomorrow when the rain stops :) Another CS Lewis fan here too.

  8. Melting in Wiltshire - thankfully.
    Very sad that I can't go to Wales as my house has no kitchen or bathroom at the moment - what a time to decide to renovate!

  9. i can relate to the feeling of a new book. as a child i would walk 2 miles to our local library ( a time when you could walk that way alone) and check out 10 books, only 10 because the libary had a limit walk home and read all 10 by the next weekend. i'm still like that today, only now my books take longer to read, but i always have something to read with me for a few minutes of losing myself in a story.

  10. Our snow has now all gone with the rain in the night and at last we are warm again in the house as the temperature has climbed seven or eight degrees. But I was more fascinate by your wonderful description of how a child reads as word for word it could have been my own (though not about those particular books). The sad feeling that there were only so many pages left, the compulsion to turn to the next page, the (mentally)breathless rush to read more. Still happens sometimes when I find something I really enjoy and which grips me.

  11. Hello Elizabeth. The pictures you are posting of the countryside round your lovely home are bringing back memories of a happy holiday in your cottage. Strange that this post should mention Narnia today. I have been promising myself to actually read my set, bought several years ago, and had decided to begin once I had finished the book I have been reading recently. Unfortunately it was one of those books that really drag, which makes it take longer to read, because I don't pick it up as often, but last night I finished it, and this morning I started The Magicians Nephew. At last!

  12. The snow has gone from where the snowdrops usually come first - I have just been to look and tiny green blades are pushing through - no white showing yet but we can live in hope.

  13. Your Welsh hills look lovely in their winter coat of snow but it is nice to see green again.

  14. Thawing very quickly here - the lanes have turned into streams and we noticed the Severn had burst its banks at Welshpool.

    Suprising as it may seem this is the first time in about 3 weeks we've seen the fields green - how strange they look. Hens much, much happier too.

  15. Wow that took me back to a school room where Miss Clark sat us all down to read from The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe - bliss! Loved it!Just sodden here but so clean and fresh - spring is just around the corner - I can smell it - see you soon.

  16. Hello,
    This is my first visit.
    I found your story delightful.
    I live in Maine on the shore line.
    We have a few green spots. Not for long.
    Hope to return.


  17. Your description of the anticipation of a new book took me back - you nailed the feeling exactly.
    I never developed a fondness for the books of CS Lewis, although I bought them for my children and read with them.
    Spring seems to be trying to slip in around your house. Do you think it's the real thing, or could winter come back? We're still having rainy mornings and clear afternoons, and the daffs and hyacinths are poking their heads through the earth. I find January one of the most difficult months, weather-wise.

  18. It is cold, wet and grey - the ground is absolutely sodden underfoot, and there is no sign of sun or warmth - all very January, and I am just trying not to notice!

    Pomona x

  19. That snowy header image is absolutely amazing. Good you're having a thaw, but oh, is that snow gorgeous.

  20. Rained all day here. It is getting rid of the the snow but is sure damp and musty. I too loved those book and the movies did them good. Glad to see your green coming back.

  21. I loved your post. Crazy for chickens. You have such lovely photo's.



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