A few friends have said recently they are finding this January hard. January 2021, the lockdown, the weather. They say "bring on spring, bring on change".

Snowdrops. Just how do they do it.

Their leaves have hardened tips to break through snow. Their sap contains antifreeze, proteins that inhibit ice crystals forming and limit their size and growth. They close their flowers before the night, capturing a cup of 'warm' air. If it gets super cold they all collapse together, and when it gets warmer they rise back up, together, unharmed.

Go snowdropping today, as in hunt some out and look at their beauty. We can't all collapse together when the going gets tough. Like it is now. Maybe snowdrops can bring you solace as they hang their beautiful heads over. As a child we collected them and drew them in school, noticing and getting down to their level of just above the ground.

Is it winter, or spring? We are on one of those cusps which last a few months, but watch the flowers that come through, like clocks of seasonal time, responding to the temperature and sunlight.

Now it's wring or sinter, actually probably more winter than spring. Still a bit brrrr, but the sun has a warmth that wasn't there last week. The light is with us longer and change is happening everyday, all around you.

Respect to the snowdrop.

Waterfall

On a walk in a wood, by a river, we heard the shrill cries of a blackbird and saw a kerfuffle of chaos, followed by a large brown bird darting out with agility and grace, low to the ground, through the lower canopy. A sparrowhawk. Mushka sniffed the bush and discovered an entangled, gasping blackbird, shocked and heaving for breath. Hit at 30 mph, suddenly, the blackbird had no marks or blood on it but a broken wing.

 

Some say nature is cruel, but life is life and death is a part of the cycle.

 

Nature is a web of processes and actions which feed into and support each other. A cycle of life and death, a processing and reprocessing of energy, of seasons here in the Northern hemisphere. A journey, a passing through in an embodied form, whether it be sparrowhawk, blackbird, dog or human. We are all here for a brief moment in time but we all part of the process. Maybe we're never gone.

I remember walking the same path with my daughter years ago when she was tiny. We caught the stench of rotting flesh and came across a carcass of a small mammel. The body was decomposing and rotting down into the earth. All those nutrients going back to the earth from where they'd come. But the 'spark' of life that gave animation? That umph that creates the involuntary beat of a heart, where did that go? That which is invisible. So we talked of energy, like electricity. Energy cannot be destroyed, only changed. From BBC bitesized “Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can be stored, or it can be transferred i.e. from a hot object to a cool object by conduction, convection or radiation.” This is the first law of thermodynamics - energy can't be created or destroyed. It can only change forms.

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