Now that we are well into February and have been waiting for Nature to whip the rug from underneath our feet and replace it with a sheet of ice, I think it is almost safe to say that the absolute worst of winter is behind us, gently nudged out of the way by Spring.
In some ways it was one of the quickest winters in years. No long hard frosts, no deep snowdrifts to isolate us from the rest of the world. No frozen water for weeks on end.
The first warmish days lure us all out, daringly without dung coloured duffle - a dufflectomy. You physically begin to feel lighter and slightly chuffed when people remark that you have lost weight; you haven't really, you have just removed three of the woolly jumpers and two pairs of trousers. Maybe even got slightly wild and worn shoes instead of wellies. Ok, that bit is a fib.
The woes and stresses of the long dark winter evenings evaporate a bit with the increasing light. The quality of light changes and wakens us up as the earth wakens up.
We are preparing for the rush of spring work. Planning, ploughing, seeds to sow, things to mend, all the time accompanied by a burst of life and growth as your work companion.
Our family had a rare day out on Saturday, a break from the farm.
Our little boy's two nursery teachers got married on Saturday and they invited all their small charges to come along for a glass of juice and biscuit and to see them in their wedding finery.
The man looked resplendent in his kilt but our son became rather upset. He could not understand where his much loved Helen was as there was a 'real princess' standing beside his teacher.
We explained that the real princess was Helen in her bridal dress and he just stood in awe. She was so beautiful.
After the little ones became a bit restless, another mother invited us to their farm to see some new lambs so we headed up into the hills, feeling very self conscious and uncomfortable in our best clothes (and shoes).
The new lambs were beautiful. Tiny Oxford Down x Texel, sturdy with small panda like faces and fat woolly cheeks. One nibbled on my finger and another very couthy one leaned on me for ages. The shed was sunny and quiet. A tiny bit of Heaven, I thought.
The little ones played happily, fussing over the lambs then went to feed the chickens. We stayed a short while then headed for home as a blast of heavy snow fell.
We stopped for something to eat and our little boy danced to the music in the cafe. He did not leap about or anything, just danced then said the music made his heart feel full. I knew what he meant.
The land makes my heart feel full. The sun on your face, the tiny snowdrops and daffs which are beginning to appear, the new lambs, new life and the sheer passion of Life itself makes my heart full.
We are so grateful that this winter was kind to us and feel rested somehow, ready to tackle all the nonsense that is thrown to trip us up and make our life difficult.
It is easy to tackle with the energy from a full and passionate heart.