Snowdrops Cry ‘Risk Joy’ ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 32

First Snowdrops
First Snowdrops

I am delighted to report that the first snowdrops of the season are now in bloom in my garden.  As I wrote last year, I just can’t overestimate the importance of snowdrops in my life as they connect me so much to my late mother for whom snowdrops were the absolute epitome of hope.

Snowdrops of Hope

Last June, when I was at the Immrama Travel Writer’s Festival in Lismore, I happened to mention my love of snowdrops to a woman  who was staying in the same Bed and Breakfast as I was.   Her eyes lit up and she told me that she had a passionate interest in them as well and had lots of different varieties growing in her garden in Dublin.  We were drawn closer and closer together by this shared interest and sat chatting over pots of tea long after everyone else had settled for the night.

It transpired that this woman travelled far and wide to see gardens which have collections of snowdrops and she made me promise her that I would go and visit Altamont Gardens in Co. Carlow this season because  it is a snowdrop-lovers paradise.  Now that my snowdrops are appearing, I’m already planning my trip to Altamont.  Here is all the information:

Welcome to Altamont Garden

As I wait for the snowdrops in Altamont to come into full bloom, I can’t but delve into poetry about these brave flowers, inspirational and uplifting little flowers:



Louise Gluck

Do you know what I was, how I lived? You know
what despair is; then
winter should have meaning for you.

I did not expect to survive,
earth suppressing me. I didn’t expect
to waken again, to feel
in damp earth my body
able to respond again, remembering
after so long how to open again
in the cold light
of earliest spring–

afraid, yes, but among you again
crying yes risk joy

in the raw wind of the new world.

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

2 thoughts on “Snowdrops Cry ‘Risk Joy’ ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 32”

  1. Jean, my snowdrops are starting to bloom, too! I have always looked forward to this sign that spring isn’t far away. After the salt water engulfed the flowers I so carefully tended throughout the summer, I thought all was lost. Seeing their cheerful, white heads poking through the soil is such a relief! My daffodils’ green spikes are starting to push through as well. Spring can’t be very far behind!

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