A February birthday is not an occasion for picnics or garden parties, even if I have sometimes wished that it could be. It’s a time for cosying in with those I love, feeling grateful that Spring is just around the corner. This year, for only the second time in memory, it snowed on my birthday. I awoke to the enthusiastic cries of three small boys desperate to open my curtains and show me those few gently swirling snowflakes. A snow day always feels special and a snow birthday doubly so.
Sunday was a blue skied, softly breezy, spring scented gift of a day. After interminable months of damply grey winter, there was finally a touch of warmth in the air. We bundled into the car and off to the common with a football, to fill our lungs with freshness. The little one, hopping with excitement, requested his kite. He squealed with delight as his eldest brother launched it into the blue, whilst he himself clutched the string tightly in his chubby, grubby hand.
There is something very soothing about tiny traditions. In the winter time, they’re the little landmarks that help us navigate our way through the grey days, reassuring us that we will once again make it out into the springtime beyond. For our family, one such tradition is Snowdrop Sunday. On a bright Sunday, in mid February, we package up some Bakewell Hearts leftover from Valentine’s Day (baking these is a tradition in itself), and we head to a hidden valley to see the snowdrops in the Rococo Garden.
Fields were the landscape of my childhood: flat Suffolk fields with endless sweeping skies. Running through long grass, swishing along secret paths through golden corn, scrambling over stacked hay bales and loitering along hedgerows whilst the dog nosed out rabbit trails. These are the small adventures that I return to when I close my eyes.