Whispering

There is a whisper in the air on Candlemas eve.  It isn’t the whisper of spring, but of snow, swirling under the streetlights like communion wafers.  Light brims night’s darkness, softening brick and tarmac, swaddling pavements.  The infrequent crackle of tyres over crusty snow is the only sound.  There is nothing quite like watching the drowsy fall of snow at night, it makes me think of infinity.

Candlemas day is dusky blue.  We roll down the motorway to Winston’s hydrotherapy session, hissing over roads lined by snow-laden trees.  The landscape is a dance of white and blue: the bleached land widens the sky, while the sky washes the land pale blue.  The morning is as delicately rendered as Chinese porcelain.  In the evening, the clouds are peach puffs and snow-coated roofs blush pink.

But the whisper of spring is there, buried beneath the murmur of snow.  It is there in crocuses poking their yellow heads through the soil and in quivering clusters of snowdrops. Winter has been mild, and flowers have bloomed when no flowers should have done, but the crocus and the snowdrop are flowers in their time, heralds of the soft beginning to spring. This is still a time of repose and reflection before the energising surge of the wild March winds.  But some blooms have already heard the sigh of spring.

It isn’t yet time for spring cleaning.  Candlemas is a quiet welcome to the first fragile signs of the season.  But we are getting a new kitchen, so it is time to declutter after all.  We spend days clearing and boxing things up.  Throwing out food long past its sell by date, never-used gadgets, all the detritus that has accumulated over fifteen years of living in our house.  It is a relief to be free of things that you’ve forgotten.  They still whisper from those dusty corners, wanting to be used or put out of their misery.

A few days after Candlemas, I walk with Winston in the dene.  A congregation of songbirds greets us: two blue tits, a long-tailed tit, a chaffinch and a bullfinch flitter among an arc of bare branches.  The sun is glorious, but ice ripples the paths.  Chunks of snow crowd the stilled burn.  The pond is frozen milky grey.  The ducks and the gulls have abandoned it, leaving a couple of moorhens to strut over the ice.

The reeds are strands of gold with feathered ivory heads.  I watch their shadows sway and bounce on the path as Winston pauses to eat goose grass.  The daffodil shoots aren’t yet ready to bloom, but violets bathe in the sun.  Two purple crocuses have emerged, petals still tucked in around them like blankets.  The whisper of the snow has abated, to make way for the whisper of spring.  I can hear it like a sigh in the wind, growing stronger, until it becomes a roar.


Blogger book of the month: The Storyteller Speaks by Annika Perry

TSS_Kindl_300dpiI felt as though I immediately ‘clicked’ with Annika when I started reading her blog.  She shares warm, eclectic posts on writing, reading and life.  Her first book, The Storyteller Speaks is a wonderful collection of short stories, flash fiction and poems that depict a wide range of events, characters and viewpoints. At the centre of each is human relationships and the effect that a single event can often have on the course of a life. A full gamut of emotions is here, including love, grief, anger and redemption. The stories are moving, uplifting, sometimes dark, sometimes amusing. My favourites include: The Whiteout Years which is a heart-breaking and touching depiction of grief and hope; and Loss of a Patriarch, a moving story about saying goodbye to Annika’s grandfather. I also enjoyed the influences of the author’s Swedish heritage. This is a collection to savour and a book that fulfils its promise to win your heart.  You can find Annika here and her book is available on Amazon.

112 thoughts on “Whispering

  1. I feel the crispness of air, and hear the creaking sound of snow under the tyres when I read your post, Andrea 🙂 What a special time. Love the sturdy Bullfinch – they make lovely decorations for the monochrome shrubbery. We are a step ahead here 🙂 Out daffodils started to bloom. Thank you for this peaceful walk xx

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  2. The stirrings of spring certainly give us hope. I’m forever looking for clues as I take the dog for our daily walks. The bird’s start in with mating calls early on, well before the weather turns. I’m always so grateful for their company.

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  3. Andrea, your post is so very beautiful. Written in this softly flowing poetic
    prose you describe the beauty of winter as I used to see it. ” The landscape is a dance of white and blue”.
    Altogether you have me walking along feeling very peaceful. Your pictures
    are so good and fits in perfectly.

    As to the choice of book of the month I do so agree with you. I love Annika’s book ” The Storyteller Speaks”. Every story has its own strength and message. Her style of writing is finely tuned and every word counts.

    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always feel sad when flowers of a specific season miss their time – early or late. It’s as if they have walked onto the wrong stage. This year, all my vegetables (apart from the cucumbers) are either slow or stubbornly not doing a thing.

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  5. Andrea, a wonderful surprise to see my book mentioned here on your blog! 😀 Thank you so much for your thoughtful and insightful review … my heart is full of joy! I too felt we ‘clicked’ when meeting here on WP and it’s always a delight to read your lyrical reflections; the poetry within your prose is magical and uplifting.

    Oh yes, I can hear the whispering of spring too, a welcome sound after the grey winter! Sunny and crisp frost today, the perfect combination and the daffodils seem to agree.

    Wishing you a lovely start to the week and warmest thanks again. ❤️

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  6. A beautiful post. I love all the images but especially the second. It is so very beautiful. Good luck with your kitchen…I think spring will be in the air during this coming week….or so the weather forecast says. Also thank you for recommend Anika’s blog. Janet 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is so lovely, Andrea, especially the comparison with Chinese porcelain. How exciting to have a new kitchen. I laughed about the things wanting to be used or put out of their misery. Good to hear that Winston is enjoying his walks. Is he supposed to eat goose grass?

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    • Thanks Gallivanta, I was trying to find an image that could capture such an unusually-coloured day 🙂 The kitchen is done and it’s great to have a place for everything, I always wanted a larder cupboard in particular and now we have one! Winston loves goose grass, he goes mad for it – a lot of dogs do – but yes, it’s very good for them, it cleanses the system and it’s a tonic to the liver.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful description of this time of year. I love how you describe decluttering (I’ve started some early spring cleaning), especially this: “They still whisper from those dusty corners, wanting to be used or put out of their misery.”

    It’s not something I’ve thought about before in quite that way. So they do.

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  9. Such lovely, poetic words about nature.
    Good luck with the kitchen remodel. When it’s finished, it’ll be like you moved into a delightful new home.
    It surely does sound like you’ve had a mild winter. Ours is still running wild, with a Winter Weather Watch set for tonight and into tomorrow.

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  10. Beautiful! I am still waiting for birdsong. In the meantime I have your writing to evoke the the beauty of winter and the coming of spring.

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  11. Decluttering is a huge project, but one of the most rewarding, as well. I’m working on that here in my home. Constantly:)
    The blue skies in your photos are so pure looking. Maybe it’s in contrast with the snow? I don’t know, but it’s beautiful. Aren’t the crocus and snowdrops so perfect this time of year? They whisper: soon, soon.

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  12. As always, I am in awe of your images, and your similes and metaphors. The thought of snow as floating communion wavers took my breath away. Winter is a silent grace, and the best part of it is the signs of spring underneath the ice.
    I read Annika’s short story collection and agree with you-absolutely lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. February is the crocus month. We missed the snow here and our crocuses are in full flower opening up so responsively to any sunshine – a purple mat spreading out across part of our front lawn. I’m glad yours are coming too.

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  14. How wonderful – the sounds, the colours in your description. As painterly as ever!
    Isn’t the first arrival of spring so exciting? And I feel the colours that Mother Nature uses are specifically chosen to ease us in – she begins with white and them moves onto pastel shades and the permanent optimism of yellow. She is taking us by the colour hand to lead us to the more robust colours of summer.

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  15. What you create with your descriptive powers is so inspirational. Here your use of specific language tools to come from different angles makes me envious. For example, I am thinking of “congregation” and “communion wafers.”

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  16. I too, love the ‘communion wafer’ snow. Your poetic prose, as always fills me with delight. Those photos! The landscapes looking as though sprinkled with icing sugar, the ray of sunshine on the water, the bullfinch… wonderful! I am pleased to read that Winston is doing well and that your kitchen is finished bar the decorating. I read Annika’s book a few months ago and loved it too.

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  17. A beautiful Narration Andrea, so descriptive it is as if I am at your side as you walk..
    Wonderful images of both photo’s and that which you paint within the mind.. I could hear the tyres upon the snow.. 😀
    Snowdrop and Crocus always amaze me.. and show me no matter how delicate their form.. How strong they are to push up against the hard frozen earth. Showing us no matter how harsh ‘Winter’ can be, we can all push through to bloom.

    Love and Blessings Andrea.. ❤

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  18. Beautiful, Andrea. As always! Writing that heals the heart and sparks the mind.
    and a new kitchen! Remember to keep focused on the final product, even as your daily life is upended by the packing, the dust, etc. Eyes on the prize, and make sure you share pictures!

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  19. Oh, Andrea, how I have missed your writing and your poignant photos that accompany it! Another beautiful post that was for me an emotional ride of awe, longing, connection, wistfulness, and happiness. I do envy your crocuses and incoming song birds. I am now in Vermont and our land is still slumbering under a foot of snow or more, but my body and mind is ready for Spring!

    I am very glad to be back here in blog land and look forward to catching up on your posts and awaiting ones of the future! I hope you are well.

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