Long ago in the mists of time, when a less settled and more pessimistic version of myself first started this lil ol’ blog, I made a promise to myself that on Mondays – back then the most depressing day of most of my weeks – I would only ever write positive posts. And for the longest time, ‘Happy Mondays’ was a regular thing. I made a real effort each week to think of something I could write more than a couple of lines about that made me smile and it was a great way to stay grounded, to remember the positives even when things were really tough. They weren’t always the most interesting of posts, but they were cathartic for me, and also helped keep me to keep the words flowing when they seemed to be otherwise drying up.
I don’t know why specifically I stopped. Possibly it was because life in general took a turn for the better and I didn’t feel quite the same need to count my blessings. Or maybe it was simply because having a baby meant posting in general became more infrequent. Either way, after the most challenging year any of us could ever have predicted, and with this wintery lockdown situation due to continue at least for a few more weeks, I’ve decided to resurrect them. I’m a much happier person these days, and have countless things to be thankful for, but in these months of seemingly endless rain and darkness, when the hours all blur together and it’s hard to differentiate from one day to another, there’s no harm in reminding myself just what those things are.
Lately it’s definitely been snow! We aren’t blessed with proper snow very often in England. Even less so in the city. So I don’t often get to marvel at the winter wonderland you see in Christmas cards and movies. And of course, in ‘normal’ life when it does actually snow it tends to bring more annoyance than anything else. We just aren’t set up to handle any kind of extreme weather here, and when we get any more than a light dusting of the white stuff all hell breaks lose. Public transport grinds to a halt, the roads become inpassable and my job in HR for a pub company becomes a nightmare as deliveries don’t turn up, pipes freeze, businesses have to close and people can’t (or won’t!) turn up for work! But of course, these are not normal times. Work is all on pause for the time being, and with nowhere else to go other than our daily allotted exercise of a walk with the dog, the snow could not be more welcome.
Snow out here in the countryside is a world away from the grey slush and treacherous icy pavements of the city. Here everywhere gets coated in a pristine layer that stays mainly intact, at least long enough to get a good look at the wonderful scenery it creates. Just a quick two minute walk around the corner takes us to open fields with with views as far as the eye can see, and woodland walks that feel like a trip to Narnia. With no one really going about the normal hustle and bustle of pre-covid life, the roads are empty but for children building snowmen and playing on their sledges. And we’re lucky to live in the kind of village where neighbours grit your drive for you and help you dig out your car if needs be. So without the pressures of work and errands to worry about, the rare deluge of snow we’ve had lately has felt like a real treat.
Obviously, being the first proper snowfall we’ve had since Bailey was born, it was always going to be special for us. Having it come at a time where he is newly mobile and full of wonder has been so magical and so full of excitement for him. But moreso, it’s really broken the monotony that has taken over all of our waking moments. For months now, ever since the second lockdown was announced at the end of October, it’s been hard to shake the sense of doom and gloom. The carefree, idyllic, furloughed days of Summer, when life all seemed to be BBQs in the garden and long afternoons in beer gardens, had dried up and we were left with the prospect of being shut indoors all day listening to the sound of the rain lashing at the windows. Let’s face it, even for the most optimitic person, there is only so much clearing out of the cupboards and hygge-ing up your living room for cosy hot chocolates in front of the fire a person can take before it all starts to feel a little claustrophobic, so to be able to simply look outside my window and see something new felt like such a lift. Taking the dog out for a long walk through snowy fields, with the sun bright and the sky that shade of blue you normally only see in travel adverts made my soul positively soar. Every single person I passed seemed to feel the same, with not one person failing to offer a cheery hello or a truly happy smile. For a moment, in the solituide of the woods as I stopped to take some pictures of Bonnie frolicking like a puppy, I actually had a little cry to myself at the relief of it all. The cabin fever I’d been feeling so intensely at Christmas had given way to a kind of numbness and it felt so good to feel something again, to have a change of scenery and to feel alive. And of course, snow, like anything, is fleeting and was over far too quickly, but even just a temporary break from the drizzle and mud was enough to give me a renewed sense of hope. It reminded me that there is still much to look forward to, that even when every day seems the same we can still experience something new, and it made me feel like maybe we can make it through to the light at the end of the tunnel after all.
I was sad to see the rain return and wash away all the magic, but at least now I’ve remembered that life can still surprise us in the best of ways sometimes, things don’t feel quite so hopeless, and I don’t know about you, but I needed that so much right now.
Here’s hoping we haven’t seen the last of the snowy days just yet!