What is a black box? A flight recorder – though it’s really orange. Maybe you have a black box for the car that records your driving. A useful device – if you like that sort of thing. Households round here have a black box for recycling paper, tin and glass. The box is sturdy-ish with a somewhat less sturdy lid. One such lid was spotted in the snow this week, a small child using it as a makeshift sledge to whiz down a short steep hill. She squealed with delight at the thrill of it all. Ah, the ingenuity of people who find new uses for ordinary objects!

Snowmen, it seems, are outmoded, though it may just have been the ‘wrong kind of snow.’ One  enterprising family, however, managed to sculpt an astonishingly life-like female figure out of the snow in their front garden. Mum was the sculptor. Dad was the shoveller – only suitable for hard labour, he told me. Elsewhere, igloo builders, with remarkable engineering skills, pressed snow into blocks to create cosy snow holes.

There is now a thaw. The white world is being stained black as the tarmac of roads reappears. Soon the white will have disappeared altogether. The world we inhabit is a place of metaphorical darkness and light. Evil and goodness exist side by side. But life isn’t just black and white; it is a kaleidoscope of colour. Purple crocuses and yellow daffodils, emerging unscathed after being buried by snow, demonstrate the continuous cycle of seasons and remind us that, ultimately, goodness, light and purity will prevail.


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