It is easy to look at a winter landscape and think that all has gone – nature is dead and cold. To think that there is nothing to see and nothing happening.
If you look though there is so much to see. The absence of leaves and flowers reveals the bones of the natural world. A tree in Spring leaf is a glorious, uplifting sight, but a tree in winter reveals the full beauty of its form.
The way a collection of twigs, branches, roots and stem make a spectacular, strong whole. All of it coming from one small seed – an everyday miracle. Even the buffeting the tree takes over time adds to its beauty. This tree grows 1,000 feet above sea level subject to regular south-westerly winds, resulting in a lopsided growth echoing the wind.
Looking at the winter tree reveals the patterns of the bark, moss and lichens growing in harmony and any history of damage accumulated over its life.
And, of course, hidden within the tree is all the means of growth and the next burst of life patiently waiting for the moment to start. Suddenly a closer look shows a flush of coral, pink or even purple at the ends of every twig with a swelling bud beginning the annual cycle of growth. This happens much sooner than you would think whilst winter still seems to have the world in its grasp.
But that is the great thing with nature – she persists!