Snowdrops have made an early appearance this year, reflecting the mild winter we’ve had so far. The ground must still be soft enough for those little bulbs to push their way up. The sun was out for several days in a row this week, and they knew it. In wintertime, the sky seems to offer little more than a bleak, white paste. A clear day cannot be wasted indoors or underground. So up they came.
Usually snowdrops don’t come around until February or so, followed closely by the spring crocus. But last year, too, snowdrops made their appearance in late January. Perhaps as mild days in the middle of winter become more common with the changing climate, these snowdrops will become less a harbinger of spring and join witch hazel as a midwinter bloomer.
The snowdrop is one of those things that makes it seem as though life itself is trying to be symbolic: a tiny, delicate flower, snow-white and humbly bowing, shyly offers its beauty as a symbol of hope in the midst of winter dormancy. It asks us to remember that winter does not cast a spell of death across the earth; it merely compels us to refine our skill for finding beauty in times when it is not obvious.