Winter is a restless bedfellow. You can snuggle up with winter content in front of a soothing fire one day, and then be bitterly jabbed in the ribs by him the next as he presents a sky of gray sheet metal shooting bullets of icy rain. Just when winter seems to settle into a manageable rhythm, the north winds start blowing moods around in the diminishing light. It can be very unsettling. What a welcome relief when winter rests peacefully for a time under a comforter of silent snow.
This is just the time when the humble snowdrop flower pushes its neck and petals up through the snow. Picked from the forest, these small, white, bells are bundled and tied with string, and sold at public markets in Romania for a very small fee. I always enjoyed setting them on the table as a winter surprise. New life can and does spring up in the most unlikely places and times. Snowdrops help to coax winter out of bed, letting spring awaken in my mind.

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