The other day I heard on the news that snow, or snow covered landscape, helps ease our winter depression. The white colour reflects light and aids greatly in making us up here in the cold and dark North feel happier.
I have to agree. January is usually a dreadful month. Dark, drizzly, cold and absolutely endless. This year though I perceive it very differently. I do indeed feel happier and I am less tired. Snow has been covering the ground for the past five weeks and with the returning daylight my surroundings indeed look beautiful and enchanting.
It has also been extremely cold. This is the third week of constant subzero temperatures and the effect is very obvious on the evergreens. I have never ever seen them looking so sad. Their leaves look thin and flat and have rolled into themselves like ancient parchment. Particularly the Rhododendron looks unrecognizable. It already displays buds, which will result in beautiful magenta flowers in June and it will then become the most beautifully coloured bush in my garden. Its appearance right now makes it absolutely impossible to imagine that this will come to pass, as it indeed doesn't look very much alive. It is enticing to ponder how such a delicate plant can survive this extreme weather.
Nature is a constant source of magic, at any time of the year.