Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Big skies




You change as you get older. When I was younger, my favourite time of year was autumn. I loved the sight and smell and texture of abundance slowly turning to decay, everything coming to an end. There was something almost voluptuous about it.

As the years go by that annual ending becomes less metaphorical and more portentous. And, accordingly, with every passing year I enjoy spring more, especially where we are now, at the end of winter and the first fumblings of a new year. Snowdrops are out. Daffodils are coming. Catkins on the trees, a few incipient buds.

We've had a tough winter. It may not even be over yet. We've had slow later than this each year since I've lived in Yorkshire. But it feels like the start of something new. It feels different outside, somehow.

This is Burton Agnes, where we go every year to look at the snowdrops. Normally there is a vast sea of them, but it's been rough this winter and they're a bit ravaged, outposts here and there with plain grass deserts in between. But it's the skies I love here, anyway. We do big skies in this part of Yorkshire, in the Wolds. They were rather grey yesterday, but majestic all the same.

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