Today is a beautifully sunny day, but for various reasons I've only managed about 4 miles walking this afternoon. Not to worry, the route I took - partly around the grounds of Gartnaval Hospitals - was brimming with beauty, from birds to buds, all of which seemed to herald spring in some small way.
As January draws to its end, there is a growing and palpable sense of ennui. People seem to be running out of conversation, there really isn't much to chat about, at least not that is life-giving, it seems. But nature continues to be hopeful and hope-filled. The hours of daylight increase. The trees put forth buds and the buds even being to burst into catkins or other signs of new growth. And tenaciously poking through the leaf-mould and overgrown grass, green shoots reach for the sun as bulbs wake from sleep, promising snowdrops, croci and daffodils in due course.
So, a short walk, but a joyful one.