Today is the first day of March, and so the Vernal Equinox is not far away - something we need to remind ourselves about, having been on the receiving end of a gargantuan snowfall in the last few days. Hedgerows and evergreens disappeared entirely in some places, and in others, just the tips of the trees are protruding from the deep drifts. Shoveling, we tell ourselves that days are growing longer now, but it will be some time before we sense real change in the length of our days and nights and notice a great difference in our native landscape. There are still several snowstorms to come - we are certain of that.
Dear departed February is the coldest month here in the north, a time of deep snow and penetrating icy cold. It's always tempting to remain indoors and just curl up by the fire with tea and books every day, but we needed long woodland rambles in Lanark - the snowy potterings nourished and sustained us, and we took them, even on the coldest days in winter.
"Crunch, crunch, crunch" went the snowshoes as we made our slow meandering way through the woods. It could be our imagination, but the snow seemed brighter and more brilliant this past week than on forays just a few days ago. During the precious moments when there was sunlight, the fields glittered from here to there, and we felt as rich as old Croesus - as though every jeweler's vault on the planet had been harvested and spilled out at our feet.
The shadows in the countryside seemed to be changing, and there was a subtle shifting in the shady hollows, movement typical of the season and very welcome to winter weary wanderers. Shadows were less attenuated, and at same time, they seemed deeper, more intense, more blue. Here and there, a sprig of green emerged from the azure snows, and the color was a hopeful thing, one that not even the biting north wind could carry away in its gelid paws.
A very happy March to you and yours.