A buzzard perches on a rain-blacked branch devoid of leaves. I cannot help but notice the bird as I pass, both of us huddled against the chill, it is the very image of winter. Dark fingers reach for the sky as if in supplication, as if the trees are praying for the sun, while the earth is warmed by a blanket of fallen glory.
The hedgerows wear motley. Evergreens and those few bushes that stubbornly refuse to shed their leaves are interspersed by flashes of colour and emptiness. And then there are those that cling, golden, to autumn. They say that for everything there is a season… but it appears that not everything agrees when those seasons should begin and end.
In the garden, where the hostas retreated long ago, hiding from the frost beneath the dark earth of winter, the roses refuse to relinquish summer. I cannot help thinking how alike we are, plants and people. Many will cling to the illusion of the past rather than accepting the reality of the present.
Others simply age in grace and beauty, needing no illusion to sustain them. Perhaps summer lives in their hearts so that they do not fear the frost, knowing change to be part of the rhythm of life.
In odd corners, the first daffodils are breaching the surface. Spring is already on its way before winter has truly begun; a promise of a tomorrow whose seeds were sown long ago. We see time as linear, but past, present and future are often so closely intertwined that it is impossible to separate them.
And then there are the rebels, the ones that take you by surprise and flower out of season. Spring anemones on the verge of bursting into bloom on a grey November day. Nature, like human nature, works at its own speed. The seasons we expect are no more than a generalisation; early bloomer or late, what does it matter, as long as we let ourselves grow?