A year ago I was loving winter’s skeleton trees and couldn’t get enough of them – this year, I’m longing for the soft greenness of the leaves to appear. Last winter the starkness of the trees suited my mood – we’d just had a depressing Christmas and were heading into another year of Geoff’s search for work. We’d had to borrow money from family to help pay the mortgage, and although I had some irons in the fire they weren’t yet producing anything. I’m so glad we didn’t know then that he’d still be out of work a year later, or our gloom would have been even deeper. As it was, he did get a short but well-paid temporary contract that helped us to keep going, I managed to develop enough of an income to make a difference, and somehow we survived the year.
For a while it was looking as if this Christmas would be even worse than last – all our savings were gone and we knew we couldn’t go on as we were. But, as often happens, we had a sudden turnaround and Geoff starts a brand new job in February – suddenly the future seems a lot brighter and we’re moving out of the limbo we’ve been living in for so long, and maybe that’s why the Gothic severity of the bare trees doesn’t appeal so much any more. Looking up through them, however, it seemed to me they were reaching for the light just as we are – a little dim at the moment but knowing growth and abundance is on its way to us.