March 1, the first day of Spring. The day dawned grey and bleak, its dreariness relieved by the stark white of a smooth blanket of snow. There was not much sign of Spring through the window, but once outside the feeling is there, it has been for some weeks, that life is returning.

For one thing, the darkness is retreating. No longer do we wake in the pitch black of night, and it is still light long after the children are home from school. For another, it seems less cold these last few days, and today the steady fine snowfall that has continued all week changed almost imperceptibly to a misty rain. By the evening the snow on the ground was turning to slush, and the grey of the roads and paths around Brickebacken was showing through the white that has hidden it away for the last few weeks.

We have realized too, these last weeks, that more birdsong fills the air, and even though the birds are not so visible, they must be returning from their winter hideaways with the lengthening days. All through the winter there have been plenty of the beautiful little birds called talgoxe hopping around our garden, pecking away at the nets of seed that Maria hung from branches in the trees. There have been crows too, and magpies, their sleek black bodies stark against the winter white. But the sounds we hear from the trees and skies now are different, and it brings a certain lightness to the heaviness of spirit that seems so easily to descend on us with the coldness and darkness of the days now passing.


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