Cyclamen in fresh Snow photographed by my friend Gill Henwood in the Lake District.
Gill sent me this photograph a little while ago. It moved me very much at the darkest time of the year just as we were entering the 3rd Lockdown. At the time I couldn’t decide how to respond to it. There were allusions to lockdown, hope, struggle at a very difficult time for us. Gill used the word endurance.
As I continued to mull over it, I discussed it with my friend Piers and he came up with this reflection:
‘Initially I looked at this image and thought of the ice and snow as something that was holding the flowers back; through which they had to struggle – and this made me think of feelings thrown up by this current lockdown. But actually, as I thought more and read Geoffrey’s poem, it dawned on me that the ice and snow protect and insulate the seed as it germinates and emerges to flower. The struggle is filled with new hope and possibilities.
We tend to see being in lockdown as a negative, threatening thing but of course it’s a collective act in which we’re protecting each other and ourselves – and looked at that way it feels far more positive. And just as the dormant plant flowers to new life, we can also use it as a time to discover what is truly important: what values and priorities will help to sustain our lives, our society and our planet.
What if the snow and ice of lockdown are allowing us to emerge into really new life?‘
Here’s a poem I have written on this photograph.
Earth’s untidy clutter
of hurried hibernation
covered over with scattered flakes
of heaven’s protection.
Opaque cloak of winter
wraps warmly around dormant seed.
Early buds break open crusty ground
scattering melted crystal.
Coloured life announces
Nature’s lockdown ended,
beckoning us to New Beginnings
Photo | Gill Henwood.
Reflection| Piers Northam