It’s day three of a big freeze here in the UK. In my part of East Anglia, the east wind is currently taking the temperature down to – 12 Celsius and turning the back garden into an unruly snow globe. Powdery snowballs from the trees, dodged by puffed up birds, mingle with fresh snowfall. I filled the bird feeder in the apple tree this morning, for the blue tits (which speed feed before the resident robin can object) and covered the garden table with the remaining seeds for larger birds. Here, we aren’t used to these temperatures even at this time of year, and nor is the wildlife. I hold on to my love of the peace and light the snow bring. I’m hopeful for Spring.
Last night, I left work with a colleague – we both walk to work and when we work together our paths cross awhile. We chatted about Spring – it was a mild evening for January and the birdsong was loud, there was an air of hope. As we do, we went our separate ways just outside the Roman walls marking the boundary of old Colchester. As he headed due south, up Balkerne Hill, I headed due north to cross the River Colne at the foot of North Hill. I stood on North Bridge and took this view as it took me. The warmth of home reflected on the river as I reflected on similarities with Hopper and Van Eyck and the intimacy of painted detail. Lighter nights are coming on, but real home comfort is now.
Walking to work along the River Colne in the first frost of this winter, with the ghost of the moon and a reflective swan.
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer ― Albert Camus