The miracle of the hyacinth

The weather has been cold and staying indoors vastly preferable to being outside. Long months of rain that we thought would never end – then slowly, very slowly, came the signs of new growth, a ray of sunshine, a breeze that didn’t chill your very bones. Spring was creeping in. A daffodil here and there to replace the snowdrops. A blue sky instead of the grey, cloud-laden ceiling overhead. Collars and hoods down and faces visible now that it is no longer a battle to keep the wind and rain from seeping in. Gloves left behind – but not put away just yet; scarves left on the hook. Have we come right through the winter at last? Perhaps, but there is still a chance of frost, although the birds don’t seem to care – sporting their finest plumage in the hope of attracting a mate. But on the whole this transformation is still almost best observed from the indoors warmth – green scenery admired as if in the pages of a travel brochure. There is nothing yet to draw me out of hibernation, nothing to put a spring in my step, until …

As if by magic the hyacinths appear! I know it is municipal planting and that a sea of wild, self-sown flowers would be preferable in many ways – but they are magnificent nonetheless. Not just a sea of crazy colour, they are an ocean of blue just inches from the traffic and the tarmac. But striding past, it is the smell  an almost overpowering perfume  that brings a smile and makes me glad to be outside. Summer will come again – it is a miracle!