For 12 days the night time temperature has fallen below freezing with over a week of unbroken snow cover. In the garden on several days it has reached -6 degrees C, and once -8, unusually cold for our area. It was snowing again this morning, but a thaw is forecast so hopefully it will feel a little warmer next week.
Yesterday evening the temperature fell very rapidly as the sun went down. There was an Irish tradition of a small ‘western room’ in the house where mementoes of members of the family that had passed on were kept so that one was reminded of them as one faced the setting sun, the direction the dead followed on their journey to the Otherworld.
The coldness and stillness of the subzero winter world echoed this mood as I watched the sun set over the churchyard across the valley from our garden. However, the dark 'sunspot' of a rook's nest silhouetted against our life giving star reminded me that spring is not far away.