Well we survived 2014 and all that it threw at us and here we stand at the dawn of 2015. Today I am not going to look back or look forward. Let us just be in today.
It is cold and crisp, the sun is shining. Now, approaching noon, those fields which face the sun have been washed green. Those in shadow still hang on to the grey frost which silvered all the landscape as the sun came up this morning in a wash of pink and grey.
Ian is in bed with the worst flu I have seen in a long time. I take him a sweet tea and another blanket and go outside to check on the hens.
There is ice on the pond and I break the ice on the hens' water drinkers. The hens are congregating on the roof of one of the houses to catch the sun.
This is the point of the year when I feel the need to poke around, searching for signs of new growth. Yes, the yew tree is full of birds. Yes, the holly shines and the ivy flowers catch the sun. Yes, the Christmas wreath on the door still looks like a celebration.
But it is new growth I want and I find some first in the side garden, the marbled leaves of Arum Italicum.
I love this. I bought this plant as a tiny spear in a three inch pot from Great Dixter on a visit in 2009. It seems astonishing that it is so long ago but that is what my blog tells me. The RHS site tells me the plant can grow to as much as eighteen inches across. Mine is about nine inches now but it may never attain its greatest stature on my soil and at my height.
The snowdrops are beginning to push up amongst the twigs and debris at the bottom of the dry stone walls.
This will be our tenth spring here, when it comes, and I know now that the first daffodils will appear in the sunniest spots in the field, under the big apple tree or by the wild cherry. I go to look and sure enough there are the first snouts amongst the leaf litter at the foot of the cherry tree.
The flowers are breaking on the bare branches of the hamamelis mollis. I go back inside to make Ian another cup of sweetened tea and to light the fire. Spring will come.