One of the wonders of very early spring is the flowering bulb snowdrop. They are so early that I have missed them some years because they can pop up under the snow cover. Snowdrops are due just about now in the northeast though this year seems to be one of those years…So I haven’t had my usual early pleasure of spotting them (or maybe they are still under there somewhere waiting to get a bit warmer).
The precious little white petals of snowdrop would be lovely and welcome anytime of the year. But particularly after the stark gray winter has been hanging on too long, snowdrops are a blessing. They are said to symbolize hope. The story goes that when Eve was about to give up hope that the cold winter would never end, an angel appeared who transformed some of the snowflakes into snowdrop flowers, proving that winter eventually gives way to spring!
Like pendent flakes of vegetating snow,
The early herald of the infant year,
Ere yet the adventurous crocus dares to blow,
Beneath the orchard boughs thy buds appear.
While still the cold north-east ungenial lours,
And scarce the hazel in the leafless copse,
Or sallows shew their downy powder’d flowers,
The grass is spangled with thy silver drops.
Yet when those pallid blossoms shall give place
To countless tribes, of richer hue and scent,
Summer’s gay blooms, and autumn’s yellow race,
I shall thy pale inodorous bells lament.
So journeying onward in life’s varying track,
Ev’n while warm youth its bright illusion lends,
Fond memory often with regret looks back
To childhood’s pleasures, and to infant friends.