I took this photo last Friday. The sun was shining, bees were humming among the blossoms, and it felt as though Spring was finally on her way.
What a difference a day makes.
This was Saturday morning. Overnight an arctic blast had come through, the temperature dropping to a face-freezing minus one, snow falling. It hadn’t quite begun to settle on the ground at this point, but it was resting on the tree branches where, less than twenty-four hours before, it had felt like Spring.
Nature has a way of doing the unexpected, doesn’t she?
A day later, this was the scene in my back garden. However, today temperatures are starting to rise, the MiniBeast withdrawing back to the frozen east where it belongs. The spring equinox is almost upon us, and there will be more blossom and bees soon…
Today was the shortest day, the moment when the wheel of the year turns towards light again. In the old ways it was called Yule, and marked a time of hope, when a spark of light would be lit both symbolically and literally to celebrate the turning of the year.
I love this time of year. I love the sparkling lights on the houses and in the trees, the clear high sunsets and cold nights, the shimmer of frost and the crack of ice. I especially love the idea of hope, of change, of finding the spark within.
It’s interesting that the past week has seen a turning of the wheel in my own life as well. I now have a new plan for the year ahead, and am excited to get back to writing once more. So, to celebrate both the solstice and my rejuvenated writing plan, here is the cover for my next release, Under Stone, the fourth in my Ambeth Chronicles series!
I’m thrilled with the finished product, and think it goes very well with the others. Under Stone will be released very soon, and pre-release copies are available for review – please contact me if you’d like one.
This idyllic scene was photographed just a few minutes walk from my house. It’s lovely, isn’t it?
Would you believe me if I told you it’s also minutes from a busy A-Road, a train station and a supermarket? That it’s in between a large retail and business park? Perhaps you’d be more likely to believe in an ancient flint church and a wooded ridge, both of which are also close by.
There are many layers to our world and I believe that beauty is everywhere, if we care to look for it. While it’s important to acknowledge both the good and the bad, choosing to focus on things we find beautiful, rather than being dissatisfied, can be a powerful tool for change.
In my Ambeth books I write about the Balance, that which lets enough darkness into the world that we can appreciate light. Even when we’re surrounded by ugliness, hopefully we can find something there that makes us happy, or gives us hope.
So take a look around wherever you are today, and see if you can find something of beauty there. Share it with us all in the comments, if you like 🙂