Each year, in February, my husband Paul and I look forward to visiting Anglesey Abbey’s ‘Winter Walk’ where there is a huge display of snowdrops, more than 300 species including one called galanthus nivalis Anglesey Abbey. As this is our first winter at the Vicarage we have been eagerly watching for green shoots to appear in the garden and last week we were delighted to discover the very first snowdrops blooming at the base of a large tree by our gate. This poem by Nessie Gell summed up my thoughts …
A fresh new snowdrop greeted me
Amongst the leaves beneath the tree
That delicate and tiny flower
Braves frost and rain and snowy shower
To tell us spring is nigh
My garden soon will bloom again
In summer sunshine, gentle rain
With pansies, roses, hollyhocks
But none can bring such joy to me
As that tiny snowdrop ‘neath the tree.
Snowdrops are often found in the grounds of religious communities where they are known as Candlemas Bells as they are in bloom at the feast of Candlemas, February 2nd. This is a day of thanksgiving and celebrates Jesus parents’ giving thanks to God for their baby son in the Temple in Jerusalem. At our feast of Candlemas, the children are making candles which they will walk with in procession around the church – a tradition that started in Christian churches in Jerusalem in 450AD.
So in this month of February, as we look forward to spring I invite you to light a candle to give thanks for all our children and to ask for God’s guidance and blessing on our villages.
On 10th March 2022 I will have been Team Vicar at Harlton and Haslingfield for exactly one year. My thanks to you all for making Paul and me so welcome and I look forward with joy to my second year here.