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I have broken through the topsoil and can see light up above me.

The first signs of spring are here. Forerunners are the plucky snowdrops, so delicate to look at, with their nodding heads of white petals, trimmed, when you look closely, with the brightest hint of green in their heart. They don’t look strong enough to be able to survive frost and snow, but there they are, defiant against the harsh conditions.

Beside them are the first crocuses, their spear-like shoots pushing up through the earth. Petals are still so tightly furled currently, but close inspection reveals a slash of sunshine yellow or regal purple that then opens up into a flower to welcome rare winter rays. There are even a couple of stronger, more vigorous-looking blades of green stabbing skyward – the first daffodils of the year. Still far from blooming, but the sight makes me want to skip with joy.

These beautiful flowers are giving hints of the vibrancy of spring and summer ahead of us. They are a reminder of the joy of the future, telling us that no matter how strong winter’s grip may appear to be right now, better things are on their way. It’s inspiring.

Nature is perfectly mirroring what is happening in my own life right now. I feel as though I have been buried away beneath the earth for several months, writing. In that safe cocoon, time seemed to slow and almost stop, as my manuscript grew slowly, slowly, achingly slowly.

And then, suddenly, there it was: The End. I have finished my first draft, and I feel rather as if I have broken through the topsoil and can see light up above me. It’s now time for me to go right back to the start of the book, and work my way through it again, adding, deleting, moving things around, putting in the layers… But all the time, like those snowdrops, I am pushing up towards the light, growing the manuscript, and hopefully it won’t be too long until I bloom. Spring is coming, and there is a promise of better things ahead.

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