It has been a few weeks since our wander around Hodsock Priory, but as Spring still isn’t in full swing, a gallery of our afternoon still feels appropriate, and even timely.
It’s a Saturday and it’s freezing. Absolutely freezing. We arrived at Hodsock Priory and made a B-Line for the cafe and its soup and coffee. Eventually we mustered the courage to venture outside and, while it swiftly dawned on me that my two pairs of socks were not going to be enough, our bravery was well rewarded.
Strangely, I feel as though I am experiencing Spring for the very first time. I can’t remember my early Springs growing up in England; in Australia the season is not quite so distinct and transformative as it is in the UK; and last year’s Spring (in retrospect) I think I was so buried in being a new, somewhat lonely and frightened first-time-mum, that I simply missed it. And how glorious it is! It is as though overnight nature pops open its eyes and instils a fresh sense of joy to help you through the last few weeks of chill at the end of a too-long Winter. “The sun is coming” each bud and blossom promises, and each day with every new bloom, the promise becomes louder until eventually the sun obliges.
This year is G’s first proper experience of Spring as well and I feel so blessed to be sharing it with her. Her enthusiasm inspires me to embrace every opportunity for exploration and discovery (when I am all-too-often tempted by central heating and coffee!) as she can make even a fallen, naked stick seem fascinating. She carried this one around with glee for almost the entire afternoon.
So even though by the end of our beautiful meander I was convinced that I would lose a toe (or several – note to self for next year) this was such a wonderful way to welcome in the Dawn of Spring. While Hodsock is now closed for Snowdrop Season, they open again at the end of April for the bluebells and I don’t think it will take much to convince us to go and appreciate them as well.