My mornings are often spent walking through the Chiltern Hills, where the tranquility of nature offers a serene start to the day. On a recent crisp, bright morning, there was a remarkable sense of stillness, almost as if the landscape itself was pausing in anticipation.

These walks reveal the stark beauty of nature in winter. I’m always struck by the sight of last summer’s wildflowers, now withered, standing in stark contrast against the winter sky. They serve as a poignant reminder of nature’s cycles. Watching birds of prey gracefully navigate the sky, their presence is both majestic and comforting.

The first snowdrops of the year, glimpsed on one such morning, brought a feeling of joy. These tiny, resilient flowers push through the frost, heralding the forthcoming spring. Alongside them, the early shoots of nettles and cleavers, small but determined, are beginning to make their presence known, signaling the impending change of seasons.

While winter’s presence is still felt across the hills, there’s a sense of transition in the air. This season invites a natural introspection, a time for contemplation and the quiet development of ideas and plans.

This particular winter, I’ve found myself deeply immersed in reflection, exploring new concepts and contemplating the direction of future endeavors, especially in terms of expanding my teaching roles.

As we approach Imbolc, the traditional celebration of the beginning of spring, the gradual lengthening of the days becomes more apparent. It’s a subtle yet certain indication that the earth is awakening once again. The anticipation of spring, with its promise of new growth and energy, grows each day, even as I appreciate the remaining moments of winter’s peaceful embrace.