Thursday, January 24, 2013

When the Snowdrops Come

Ok here is another extract from A Year of Doing Good:

Saturday, 5 February

I’ve had it in mind for a while to dig up a bunch of snowdrops for the little old lady who used to live in this house and who moved down to the village soon after her husband died. He was a keen gardener and made it his business to spread snowdrops around the garden, so that at this time of year, snowdrops with their tiny drooping white bells fill the lawn and the glade between the back wall and the sheep pasture. We loved him, and I always think of him when the snowdrops come. I am sure she thinks of him all the time. Together, my daughter and I found a trowel and we extracted a small bunch of snowdrops, their heads white and shy, hanging down as if they were admiring their new, leaf-green shoes.

We drove carefully through the rain with the pot on the floor of the passenger seat, reaching down every now and then to steady it. When we got there, the little old lady was preparing dinner. I’ve dropped in before when she is cooking dinner, and black smoke will be curling from out beneath the kitchen door, but she would not dream of telling you. She sits there patiently while you drink a cup of tea, and when you’ve gone, eats ash. We didn’t go in; instead we put them by her front door on the porch, out of the cold north wind, and I told her how I think of him at this time of year when the snowdrops come.

Good deed no. 36: said, ‘I remember.’

5 comments:

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Judith, this was one of my favourite extracts in your book. We have snowdrops all over the garden and Jim used to look at them and remember the faces behind those who planted them.

CJ x

Clare Taylor said...

This is lovely,thankyou for posting it. And oh, how I miss the snowdrops at this time of year!

Suzy said...

Ah this Just brought a big lump to my throat. I Just love snowdrops

Pol said...

I loved this passage when I read your book - My Nannie used to live in the wilds of North Wales and her garden was full of snowdrops. After she died we transplanted many of them to my mum's garden - for me snowdrops will always be my Nannie's flowers, and I love looking for their beautiful little bells in the dark adys of January.

Nell Heshram said...

That's a beautiful gesture. I'm going to read more of your extracts now....feels like a Dorothy Casaubon moment!