The thaw

Rain tomorrow. But today, there's still snow. As it recedes, the hydrangea leaves hang, sodden and weary from the freeze. The conifer branches, released, ping back up.

I want to catch it while I can, matt, sculptural snow against the dark gloss of the leaves.

But first, I go outside, to see what I can find to draw indoors. The whole garden is dripping, under the sage, runnels of meltwater. Everything seems to be heading downwards – snow, leaves, water...

Peeking out, buds. I was hoping for these, tiny midwinter beacons of hope, and there they are. Rose, forsythia, hebe – one day, there will be Spring. Each twig feels in motion, brown at a distance but with a vigorous undercurrent of green, buds fresh pinks, oranges and yellow-greens.

Back to the long views, the thawing show shape-shifts before my eyes, receding in the late afternoon gold of the sun. Leaves shudder. I expect birds, or a mouse braving daylight to look for food, but it's snow, dropping.

The fox prints are gone, in their place, earth, freshly-scraped. It, too, seem to be turning its thoughts to the distant Spring.

Ballpen, watercolour, fineliner on handed-down watercolour paper.

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