Yesterday morning there was a fox. Clear and sure as an illustration in a children’s book on the white page of the snow. Glimpsed by the shed, just fifty yards from the house, disappearing and then appearing again and walking down the drive. Confident but self-conscious, like an adolescent. There had also been a pheasant the day before, and a deer - both in the part of the orchard nearest the house.
The snow makes everything more evident – up-lighting the trees. Jays are even brighter.
In the late afternoon, walking down and through, there were no footsteps until we got to the lichen-green abandoned luncheon hut. The only tracks on our land were from birds and animals – some recognisably deer but mainly hard to fathom, and possibly just next door’s cat. Through Milfordleigh woods the snow was still piled high on the branches of trees, bowing the laurel across the path and creating icy tunnels. The river seemed full of the expectation of the melt water to come.
Now the icicles that started growing on Sunday – clear stalactites of water – are melting and falling from the house, producing sudden unexpected noises. The marshmallow mounds of white are still on the yew hedge between our garden and next door, but the snow on the terrace is receding fast and miniature glaciers are oozing between the slats of the metal chairs.
There was no post and no collection of rubbish yesterday (and no going to work); the snow creating an unexpected pause in the business of life.
Before bedtime I found again the Louis Macneice poem Snow, to be reminded:
“World is suddener than we fancy it.
World is crazier and more of it than we think”