Winter solstice

The shortest day is here and that, to me, is something worth celebrating. Such a comfort to know that the daylight is returning. This winter has seemed unusually dark and getting up in the mornings has been a real struggle. The urge to hibernate is strong and despite the intention of doing useful or fun things in the evenings after work, I find myself asleep on the sofa more often than not.

What a bleak picture the garden was today. So wet – so dull! But, looking a bit closer, there are already signs of hope. Brave rose Mortimer Sackler has a large fat bud just waiting to open – will it bloom on Christmas day? Some of the spring bulbs are peeking up above the surface of the soil and there are healthy looking new shoots on the roses.

It seems unbelievable that the garden looked like this six months ago, and even more unlikely that it will flourish again six months from now. Every year I have the same feelings of doubt – even though I know I put those tulips in the ground and that I took good care of my roses, I still can’t believe that anything beautiful will appear in that sorry looking space. It just seems to good to be true! It really is a miracle, helped along with quite a lot of hard work.

From tomorrow we are going in the right direction and I look forward to each extra minute of daylight. Once Christmas is over I will be ready to get into the new season and actually, as I am writing that, I am sensing a flutter of excitement. Energy returning – both to me and the plants outside. There are lots of jobs planned for January and February so I will need it! But first I am going to rest, gorge on festive food and enjoy the glow of Christmas. And tonight, raise a glass to the return of the light. Happy winter solstice!

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