Monday, 25 April 2016

Winter dreams…

Last month when I posted on this blog, I was a bit depressed. Winter was going on too long, far too many grey and dreary days. I looked at my bonsai trees for signs of life, but they were still sleeping. Maybe a few buds looked a little bigger, but that could have been optimism and faulty eyesight. (I have both, in equal measure)

Then yesterday as I walked to the local shops, I noticed signs of life in all the front gardens. Tiny daffodils bobbing in the breeze and early blossom appearing on what I think are almond trees. And a patch of snowdrops bravely trembling in the chilly air. By the time I got home, I was feeling a little uplifted, cheered by what I had seen and knowing that Spring was definitely coming. Maybe a little too slowly for my liking, but hey, I'm not in charge, am I?


I will have to go to the garden centre soon and buy new plants for the garden, sure that I would be gardening soon enough. I look forward to tidying up the winter debris of leaves and twigs, not to mention what the cats have done to the flowerbeds. The grass would need cutting soon too; it was starting to grow again.

But then the bad news. Apparently, we are in for more cold weather, possibly snow. I think of the snowdrops.
How would they cope? If the weather was bad enough they might perish. I had seen that happen before, and I wondered again, why Nature got her timing so wrong sometimes. However, the fact that it never seems to matter, that she just continues to do what she does best, should be a lesson to all of us who need to learn a little patience.

I am a huge fan of Mother Nature. I love her delicate touch, the pretty things she creates out of almost nothing. And her drama, the power that she can wield, the destruction and the majesty. I can forgive her anything; for all that she brings to us.

I sit here in front of my computer, hating myself for being as miserable as the weather has been lately, knowing I am made of stronger stuff. At least I think I still am. I have never let the weather get me down this bad before. But as you get older, winter seems to go on forever. The grey monotony of cold, rainy days eats into your soul and you can be forgiven for thinking that this is it, no more happy sunshiny days. No more hope or inspiration.

I am getting quite old now and usually refuse to give in to that sneaky feeling that I am supposed to be winding down and getting ready for the final switch off. Since my heart attack four years ago, and the cancer scare just a few weeks ago, I have been very aware that someone's finger has been on that switch, just waiting for me to get too out of breath, or too angry or upset. I have been avoiding all those things, of course. But I am only human. Some days I feel like screaming out, 'Just do it, and get it over with!' As I get sick of all the waiting.
But other days, I am adamant that I am going nowhere, that I still have so many things to do. And I think that says it all. I should be going somewhere, but somewhere else.

I look out of my window at my bonsai trees; they are just beginning to herald the arrival of Spring. Tiny leaves of red and green are cheerfully unfolding, lifting my spirits at last.  As I watch, snowflakes begin gently falling. They will not settle this time, I think, the ground is much too wet. But it is trying very hard, falling thickly now and getting nowhere. Nothing to show for all that effort.

That is how I feel most days. Nothing much to show for all my time here on earth. Nothing much left, anyhow. When I climb out of the grey misery, those days when a little brightness peeps through the clouds, I have been wondering if there may be time for one last adventure. One last valiant effort to find some peace, some quiet beauty. Time to create something that will outlive me.

I think I have the strength for one last effort. I must have for I still have the courage, that has never left me. It seems to be all I have left...