Ever since the start of February I’ve been feeling a bit meh. And that’s because it’s a bit of a drab month, isn’t it? Not so long ago, frost and snow thrilled us – now we just want to be done with it. We’re all on permanent spring-watch. The seasons, however, can’t keep up with our impatience.
It’s tempting to wish February away. The shop shelves – and our hearts – may be full of spring blooms and floaty dresses but we have to accept that it’s still winter. No amount of wishful thinking is going to change that. And by focusing all out attention on spring, we’re forgetting to notice the little things that make February a great month.
Let’s celebrate February for what it is.
Chase the sparking frost. February is the end of winter – and there’s no denying it can be bleak at times. There’s mud everywhere and it’s still freezing most of the time. But why not stop and appreciate the beauty of winter for a little longer? When we get the first frosts in the autumn, I can’t get enough of it. For the rest of this month, I’m going to carry on appreciating their beauty. Make the most of crunching through silvery grass and run your fingers over a frost-glittered branch. This is seasonal magic and it’s fleeting – don’t forget to appreciate it before it vanishes again.
Listen to the birds. Have you noticed what’s changed over the last couple of weeks? It’s the birdsong. I can hear them in my garden and even when I’m walking along busy roads in the morning – it’s a uniquely optimistic sound on a bitterly cold day. Try taking your headphones out on your morning commute – or look out for chatty robins and blackbirds in your garden.
Seek out the winter blooms. February is the time for pearly-white snowdrops and bright yellow aconites – plus, you might even find some early daffodils. Go for a walk and seek out this winter treasure. It’ll lift your heart. And don’t just think of these blooms as a sign of the spring to come – think of them as a parting gift from the departing winter.
That precious extra daylight. Another source of wonder in February is the gradual return of daylight. This week I could still see blue sky at 5pm, and it was a wondrous sight. Start gradually coming out of your evening hibernation – go out for an afternoon walk and relish this extra time.
Buds on branches. Look on bare branches right now and you’ll see some buds forming. It’s exciting to see this sign of things to come, and it’s a useful metaphor for life. It takes me a while to come out of my winter shell – and truth be told, I’m probably not quite ready for full-on spring yet. I like the idea of slowly unfurling over the next couple of months – gradually getting more active and optimistic as the days go by.
And finally, eat pancakes. Because how can you hate a month that has a whole day devoted to pancakes, lemon and sugar?
Writing this post has re-ignited my enthusiasm for February. I’m going to appreciate it for what it is – not as the start of spring, but as a month full of sweet parting gifts from winter.