Entry: ON THE THRESHOLD Apr 12, 2017



I call February the Threshold of the Year. In January we were indoors, beside the fire, and there seemed little of new and various to tempt us out. But February comes, and with it the first dream of change, Hong Kong city tour the first scarce-heard whisper of the Spring. The faint possibility of a snowdrop, hinting its yet undrooping white through a peaked green film; the distant hope of a primrose bud, peeping�"with yellow point, for all the world just like that of a coloured crayon�"out of the young, crisp, green leaves that are crowning the limp, ragged ones of last year; the wild dream of a find of those sweet buds�"little geologists’ hammers, with white or violet noses�"among their round seeds and drilled leaves, in some warmer corner;26 such, summonings as these woo the steps to the threshold on a strayed mild day late in February. The black, soaked trees have, we find, taken a warm hue of life; the dull willow bushes have the gleam of golden hair; the first soft air of the year comes to our hearts with a gush of promises; flowers and leaves reenex facial seem possible to the heart waking from its winter stagnation; trees and men alike feel a new life, a fresh impulse. Even though we have become hard wood and wrinkled rind, our sap is, nevertheless, stirred: “And even in our inmost ring A pleasure is discerned, From those blind motions of the Spring, That show the year is turned.” And, perhaps, we are content to pause on the threshold, and lean against the lintel, and survey the smile close at hand, and the gleam far away; and, while the robin draws near in a cheerful, not to say jovial, sympathy with our Neo skin lab humour, and the faint branchy shadows move tenderly on the glistening lawn, to muse on the year’s threshold, concerning the programme that the wind is whispering among the bushes, and the promises that the warm air is wafting into the heart.

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