This strange winter, bringing floods and winds to so many, occasionally brings delight to others. Until a few days ago, midsummer honeysuckle was alive and well and flowering in the holly trees along the edge of our small garden. I wasn’t quick enough in all those dark, wet days this month to photograph it, so I’ve cheated with a seasonal shot instead. To me, those tiny, creamy flowers spoke of hope, light and warmth at a time of year that is challenging, dark and cold for many. So, to one and all, a joyful, hopeful new year!
No surprise: there falls
Snow in the winter holly trees,
Wet flakes drifting in stillness,
Speared on savage leaf-points,
Vanishing in salty, mistletoe air.
No surprise: there shines
Scarcely a peep of light today,
Except for the crackling red
Of holly berries, the lively green
Of prickling leaves along the wall.
But now: a midwinter surprise!
If you look closely here, see,
Threading in among the glossy growth
Midsummer’s honeysuckle still in flower:
Fragile cream & butter petals
Twined within close holly trees,
Wreathing the deepening gloom
Of a winter’s afternoon;
Breathing out mild, wild sweetness—
No icy frost-flowers, these.
© Lizzie Ballagher