....the skies are blue, the sun is shining , it looks as if it will be a lovely day, but who was Jack Frost?
It is believed that he originated within Scandinavian or Anglo-Saxon traditions. In one story, he is the son of Kari, Norse god of the winds. In Finnish folklore, there is a legend about a Frost-man and a Frost-woman, who control the weather and keep the conditions good for their reindeer. In many cultures around the world, it is common to personify the seasons and the weather. In Japanese folklore, there are stories of a Frost Man and his brother, Mist Man, who are keepers of frost and dew.
As for the name Jack Frost, there isn't much reasoning as to why his name has come to be Jack, other than "Jack" was a common slang word for "man" in England during the 16th and 17th centuries - Jack the lad, Jack of all trades, Jack o'Lantern, Jack o' the Green.
My mother always said a good cold winter was necessary to kill off all the bugs and germs. However, of late, that appears to have been proven to be totally untrue. This wretched virus seems to relish the cold rather than the heat.
Jack Frost illustration by Arthur Rackham
Our much loved diminutive snowdrops, those first harbingers of Spring, have now pushed their dainty heads above the ground.
Cold, wet and grey;
Surely all the world is dead;
Spring is far away.
Wait! the world shall waken;
It is not dead, for lo,
The Fair Maids of February
Stand in the snow!
poem & illustration by Cicely Mary Barker
It looks as if a small creature has been dining out on my snowdrops. However, I can't begrudge the odd petal to whoever ate them. They must need all of the nourishment that they can find at this time of year.