The first snowdrop. Or is it bird poo?

January can be a bit bleak. Dark, cold & goes on for 100 days. 

So when you catch a glimpse of ‘the first snowdrop’ in the garden, your soul might do a little happy dance as you trust that Spring will return again. 

But then you look again, with your varifocal glasses on and it’s not the first snowdrop after all. 

It’s a blob of white bird poo, nestling on the end of the snowdrop stem that is happily growing just by the gate. 

The bulbs planted there so you can notice the first signs of this wonder of nature.

The wonder being the snowdrop bud, not the bird’s little gift!

Is this a sign of something deep & spiritual? Or just one of nature’s little ironies that can make you despair or laugh out loud. 

It depends.

You see, we feed the birds. A lot. And friends & family buy us extra bird feeders as gifts.

So this January the ‘all you can eat buffet’ for our feathered friends expanded with even more cleverly designed hanging containers that swing near the bird table. 

Not forgetting the bird bath, which has an old ridged frying pan wedged across it. 

Sounds strange, but the teeny tiny birds enjoy the shallow puddles & lines of nibbles it offers them. We think of it as the ‘junior pool’ but don’t ask if they’re wearing verruca socks, as we had to for school swimming lessons!

No bird feeder has yet designed a way to swerve the Jackson Pollock style splashes that decorate the garden wherever the birds are.

So if you’re going to feed the birds, what goes in one end has to come out of the other. Pardon me if you’re eating your breakfast right now… but it’s just nature.

It was funny, realising I’d seen what I long for in January, a sign of Spring. I was willing the sunshine to return & buds to blossom, and trying to fast forward nature.

So that’s what nature does, it reminds you who is boss. Sometimes it’s not a flower, it’s a blob of bird poo.

But it’s also a sign of love. If we choose to look for it.

The love of friends & family who buy us the new bird feeders.

My partner’s love of feeding the birds that nudges him to buy regular supplies of all their favourite selections.

My love for how patiently he cleans & fills up their feeders, and scrubs the swing clear of unfortunate splashes, before we sit on it.

Our love of watching the birds, a habit cherished more since the Pandemic changes. Thuggish robins facing off mischievous blue tits & the occasional excitement of a goldfinch or goldcrest. 

Or the thrill of spotting a woodpecker that looks like he’s wearing red pants on a black & white feathered frame. 

Maybe that’s the solution, bird pants? From the same shop as the bird verruca socks!

My habit of getting things wrong is funny. As we get older it’s good to be able to laugh at our own foolishness & rubbish eyesight. 

And yesterday as I walked past the pot & glanced down at the snowdrop bulbs, guess what? 

Yes, another white blob.

This time, it really was our first snowdrop flower of 2022.

So next time you see something that isn’t quite what you’re hoping for, can you find a way to see Love in it? Even the process of trying that might make you giggle.

But also kept an eye out for any birds that might have just eaten too much from the buffet & are about to Jackson Pollock…

**If you’d like to know more or join one of the regular Mindfulness & Writing Zoom sessions I run, where we play with ideas like this, & chill out with relaxing & restoring meditations… message from the ‘Contact’ bit of this website. They are friendly groups where giggling & daydreaming are encouraged alongside the practically useful & more inspired stuff. No experience of Mindfulness or Writing are needed, and beginners & those more experienced are equally welcome. Happy snowdrop seeking meantime…

Photo with thanks to Yoksel at Unsplash.