That stinging sensation

Snowfall in Sparty Lea

After the bright morning, while it was still calm, I put my John Deere overalls on, my new Christmas wellies, my normal work gloves and then the long leather gauntlets to protect my wrists, and headed out for a bit of hedge trimming.

I was happily snip-snipping along (I’ve eschewed the petrol strimmer for super-light hand shears) when the tiny pellets of icy snow began to ricochet off my face. That feels familiar, I thought, and I was back in my childhood, trudging along the road to school, head down against the snow’s relentless sting.

That, precisely, was the feeling I was after when I yearned a few days ago for a blizzard up here. I could scarcely believe my good fortune when the frenzy of the frozen snow picked up and swirled around my head. Although my hands were getting a bit cold, the double gloves provided some insulation, and I kept at the work. I will finish this section, I will, I will.

I thought, I should really get my camera, try to capture this swirling delight. But then I thought, no, no, experience this joy, stay in the middle of it. In other parts of the world, there is huge conflict building. Back on your laptop is the agony of the Ukraine. Here, in the midst of the stinging snow, is a moment of personal tranquility. This too is part of the wonder of life, and you are fortunate to be here.

And so I did, clip-clipping away as my eyes streamed until the little hail-ish frenzy dissipated, and the section was tidy. Only another thirty meters or so to go. And endless conflagration to feel so sorry for.

What further delights, against what further misery, await?

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