A Winter World

Julian Hoffman

To one who lives in the snow and watches it day by day, it is a book to be read. The pages turn as the wind blows; the characters shift and the images formed by their combinations change in meaning…It is a shadow language, spoken by things that have gone and will come again. ~ John Haines, ‘The Snow, the Stars, the Fire’

Some winters I see lizards scattering across stones as I clamber the hillsides, retreating to the dark crannies that pockmark the slopes like the hollows of a sponge. I see butterflies resume their flights with the same uncertainty as children learning to ride bikes, slow and unaccustomed to light after a period of hibernation. I see reckless wildflowers uncurl towards the sun, prescient, fragile, doomed if the weather turns. But until it does they spark like coloured lights amongst the wind-raked grasses.

Other winters are different, mysteries of…

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