Winter sunshine and awakenings

Hanley

This is a photo from a couple of weeks ago, prior to our recent heavy snowfall.  The snow lasted about ten days before being washed away and now we have more weather warnings, this time for gale force winds and torrential rain.   I can hear the wind howling around outside and blowing down the chimney – no doubt when I wake up tomorrow there will be fallen trees and broken branches.

In spite of the inclement weather we are gradually beginning to see the shoots of new life.  The little Snowdrops below are growing at the base of a very old grave in my local churchyard.

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I love Snowdrops, their tiny nodding flowers hang above tufts of small sword-like leaves and over time they form banks of pristine loveliness along the hedgerows, at the bottom of tress and through the woods.  I also love the churchyard because it’s peaceful and there are 180° views for as far as the eye can see.

Although the church is pretty, it’s seldom used.  The graves in the graveyard commemorate the lives of people who died at the beginning of the last century; they are all well tended but no one goes to visit them any more.  I often wonder what stories those people would be able to tell me from their lives during the Romantic Era. I also wonder what they would make of me with my none too lady-like hiking boots, jeans, sweater and raincoat.  It’s so rural here the chances are they would think I’m a witch and cart me off to the local dunking pond.  If they found out I was reviewing a report on the progression of antibiotic resistant infections and cytokine storm first thing this morning followed by a day of conference calls about technology, budgets and globalisation I would be building my own bonfire by now!

Suffice to say just like the Snowdrops breaking out from hibernation, I am starting to feel a little more alive and awake.  I may look like some demented science experiment where the mad professor (Bunsen Honeydew strikes again) decided to make a new kind of animal by taking bits of human, armadillo, snake, naked mole rat and pig but at least I’m beginning to feel like a person once more.

I think I have been lucky.  I haven’t lost any finger or toe nails, my hair seems to be coming back the same colour as before, I don’t have permanent peripheral neuropathy and as far as I know my heart is still OK.  There’s a chance I might get an A for effort when I see Dr C this week and an E for compliant behaviour… I still encourage all the other patients to speak up about their side-effects instead of suffering in silence and to carefully check the expiry dates and dosages on their drugs.