Isn’t it extraordinary the effect snow has on us? It evokes an emptying sensation, silencing both inner and outer worlds. It can make us feel exquisitely free, released and awake; it can fill us with a sense of lonely, barren unease. While it falls, changing our world, there may be excitement or tension, and then we wait, now unused to it staying long as it seldom does. We watch, expecting our grey-green muddy England to push through the white, re-asserting its familiar self, with its soft colours and musky winter scents. When it doesn’t we grumble, releasing the new tensions and fears, and blame this and that, still waiting. It seems we have to go through those first days of inactive bewilderment.
Yet if the temperatures are so low, if more snow comes, we adapt. We set to, as if old memories kick in – albeit slowly – allowing us to work out how to get on with life again, in the snow. It is at such moments that I feel grateful for the walls of my little house, the fire that glows in the iron stove, the hot water in the taps, and I remember the generation before me, who faced the snow with very few comforts at all.
That loneliness still dogs me though, and the cold brings a deep ache to my bones. And my heart goes out to those who feel it too. It can be so beautiful, so quickly transforming the landscapes of home, but snow is not easy. It can leave us feeling isolated. And at this time I feel especially for those who were so hoping to get to Sun Rising over the next few days, to visit loved ones, to pay their respects. I urge anyone who is uncertain about whether or not to travel to call us first. We are at the burial ground as often as we are able and, for those who may find it comforting, are always there to say a few words in your stead.
This photograph was taken (on a mobile phone) yesterday, giving an idea of what the burial ground looks like at the moment.