Finding hope anywhere you can has become one of the priorities of our lives. Here are three I have found this week.
The snow that caused such chaos for many also provided opportunities for others to have fun. It may be a sign of my age that I merely watched the children enjoying building with snow rather than going out and having fun myself. But I remember previous winters when we would take the chance to play together and think how lucky we were to not only see snow but to revel in it!
This year the celebration of Burns night became a ‘big thing’ for us. When lockdown has lasted so long it came as a welcome window of opportunity to do something different and special. So we ordered our vegetarian haggis early, made sure we had swede and potatoes and some whiskey as well. We put on some music – admittedly it was of Northumbrian pipes rather than Scottish – but it set the scene. We mashed the vegetables to make the ‘neeps and tatties’ and read the Selkirk Grace and quoted from some of Burns poetry, including ‘To a Mouse’ with the opening line “Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie…” For pudding we had Cranachan, a combination of cream, toasted oats, raspberries and whiskey. As a bonus we found the old film ‘Whiskey Galore’ on iPlayer and enjoyed the bitter sweetness of the islanders story.
Like many others we are buoyed by the the sight of signs of Spring. They were there before the snow, but even from below the layer of white, green shoots are showing. The snowdrop flowers have been swelling against the green of their leaves, and once the snow has gone they will be a reminder of the white and the green together.
There are lots of other signs of hope of course. The new President of the USA is probably one. The increasing number of friends and acquaintances who have received their vaccinations is another. And I have just been reading the view of an influential fund manager who suggests that the COVID crisis is showing itself as a moment of change in the struggle to halt climate change. The withdrawal of billions of investments at the beginning of the lockdown last year from the fossil fuel industry has led to re-investment in greener companies, who are poised to be at least as profitable.
I hope that you also find green shoots to give you hope. Valentines Day is not far off after all and soon there will be daffodils and crocuses to enjoy.