The Visitor

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The start of this week brought an unexpected visitor to our door. Now, I say “unexpected”, but at this time of year we should really all be ready for his arrival. Indeed, some folk across the country are prepared, because they know that once the clocks go back and the temperatures fall, "he" is guaranteed to come a-calling. However, in our neck of the woods, he tends to be a rare visitor. We try not to take it personally when he ignores us for several years, and although some of us might feel a little disappointed, others heave a sigh of relief. (To these individuals he is the most unwelcome guest of the season.) There are occasions where he makes a fleeting visit, which, between you and me, leaves you wondering why he bothered to breeze through in the first place, but then there are those memorable years when he excels himself.

Well, dear reader, early this week he did just that - and here in Gloucestershire, along with various other parts of the country - he graced us with his presence. He arrived early on Sunday morning and was particularly generous with his time during which he showered us with his familiar seasonal gifts. This silent, snowy fellow, who descended upon us in his wonderful white cloak was, for some of us, a most welcome sight bringing his special magic and getting us into the traditional festive spirit. Joyful cries of "It's snowing!" echoed in many households over the weekend.

In "Evergreen's" current issue (click here to order a copy), we have featured Walter de la Mare's supremely evocative poem "Winter", illustrated with glorious photographs, reflecting the season's character in all its snowy splendour. But are you one of those who enjoyed or endured the wintry conditions this week? I do realise that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the white stuff. Travelling can be a nightmare (especially if it's the wrong sort of snow!) and I appreciate the frustration of sitting in a traffic jam, in a freezing railway station or being stranded at an airport. However, even at my age, I am one of those souls for whom snow rekindles a childlike sense of wonder and delight. I find it relaxing, almost hypnotic, to watch the flakes falling, enveloping the countryside in a soft, seasonal eiderdown that dazzles with its brilliance. I marvel at the way these seemingly inconsequential flakes can melt immediately, yet also have the power to bring traffic to a halt and completely slow down our pace of life.

Have you ever stopped to listen when it snows heavily? The cocooned silence is so soothing. Then, even at night, the snow's radiance cannot be dimmed; it shimmers just as brightly under the moon as the sun. This is truly magic from on high. Here, once again, is a reminder and a chance for us to reconnect with the beauty, the power and the eternal wonder of the seasons. Believe me, snow, like sunshine, can be a welcome visitor. With each flake that falls we can pause to embrace moments of enchantment, tranquillity and childlike joy amid our ever-busy lives.

Whatever season you love, a selection of wise and witty weather lore features in the 2018 Evergreen Pocket Diary which, along with our range of This England calendars, is now on sale and can be ordered by clicking here.

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