Whether you (for readers in the Northern hemisphere) count candlemas or groundhog’s day as the beginning of Spring, or wait until lunar (or Chinese) new year or equinox, Spring is on its way. My family may be surrounded by several feet of snow in the Eastern US but in Central Scotland, these little beautiful harbingers of Spring are showing their pale and delicate faces!
Growing up in the mid-Atlantic states and the forests of the Eastern coastal plains, the early Spring plants were skunk cabbages. Now, the thing you need to know about them is that they smell like rotting flesh. They STINK. They smell this particular type of pungent in order to attract flies for pollination. Some people would say that they are horrible to be around. In my family, however, we were always very excited to spot the first emerging group of skunk cabbages, because that meant Spring was slowly arriving.
I do not mean the twittering birds and fully-blossomed flowers stage of Spring, but the slow, steady and hopeful beginning of the earth thawing and re-awakening.
While snowdrops are certainly very different than skunk cabbages, they too, fill me with the hopefulness of Spring.