Today is, traditionally, the first day of Spring - St. Brigid's Day, here in Ireland, or the pagan festival, Imbolc, marking the mid-point between the winter solstice and spring equinox. As I return from the corner shop, this morning, and stand on the doorstep, digging out my keys, a tiny flash of green catches my eye. On the first day of February, in the midst of a howling gale and icy rain showers, three tiny green leaves, protecting the bud of another, cling to the stringy remains of the clematis around the door.
And I am so happy to see it, so surprised at this sign of Spring, that a change is coming and the long darkness of winter will soon be over, I almost cry.
Back inside, with a cup of tea in hand, I start to think about change, how often we fear it and cling to people and situations because they are familiar; we know them, we know their worst. How often we put off taking the leap to something new for fear of where we may land. We wait for the right time.
"Maybe, when I'm older," we tell ourselves, "when I'm better prepared, when I have more money, when I've finished the house, when the children are grown..."
Me, I promised myself I'd start writing 'someday' and 20 years slipped past.
Nature does not wait. Nature does not strategize, theorise or prevaricate.
On a graveyard morning, in the deep winter cold, Nature gathers it's strength and dashes into the light.