The weather has taken a turn for the colder, as so often happens in February. I always feel I have to brace myself for this month, for the last haul through before the Spring Equinox, when I feel that finally the warmth will start to come (although frosts are still a danger until mid-May here). I haven’t seen snowdrops yet, this is a photo from a past year, when I got out more, pushed myself to walk in the cold.
But instead I’ve been walking somewhere further afield and far more cold. I’ve had a bereavement (maybe that has more to do with my yearning for roses than the approaching of Valentines – that need for soothing and balance, that I know the scent of roses brings). My “remaining” grandmother died a couple of weeks ago, not far past her birthday, only a few years away from her centenary, and that has added an extra level of grey to the month. I made the trip to Norway, to attend her funeral and it was beautiful, quiet, understated, but special – how she would have liked it.
The flowers were so pretty – all pastels of pink, heather, peach and cream – distanced from the snow and swirling white of the sky – whispering more of a summer’s day. I could smell the roses as I carried the wreath. It was good to see family, some of whom I have not seen since they were children – they have now grown to adult. Whilst I have been to Norway in the past few years, it has been well over 20 since I last visited this town.
We stood in the graveyard in the snow, whilst further snowflakes fell. My great grandmother is buried here. And my grandfather, next to where my grandmother was laid. They will share a headstone. The snow was fairly deep around – no going off the cleared path.
Blue skies and sun returned the next day, although the temperature fell further. I only stayed 2 nights and, whilst it was good to meet up with family and to meet my brother’s fiancee (they live in New York, we don’t often see each other) I needed to get back home and watched the sun start to set on the train journey south to Oslo and the airport.
I brought the snow home with me, but only a shadow of it. Mostly its just been grey and rainy, as it often is. I’m hoping it lifts soon, so I can return to the woods – see the snowdrops that I know grow in the borders. I think perhaps I’ve missed them this year, maybe I’ll see crocus instead.
In the meantime I’m going through my seeds, thumbing seed catalogues and dreaming of Spring.