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By Ashleylister @ashleylister
Words seemed keen to demostrate their mood-altering prowess to me yesterday.  While waiting to brew up in the staff room, I asked a colleague the ubiquitous "Y'allreet?"  This is usally greeted with the traditional, "Yeah, y'reet?" Instead, she pestered a bloated teabag around a bulbous mug which was wistfully painted with pink flowers and gray curls.  Leaning on the worktop, she didn't answer but let out a long sigh.  I think I saw her soul fall out of her mouth and into the tea but that might have been steam.  This is what Winter does.
My workmate told me that she was fed up with feeling cold and holidays seemed a very long way off.  I could relate.  A client had phoned the department only minutes earlier to book an appointment, pointing out that he couldn't make the end of February as he would be in Mexico on his jollies.  I wished him a marvelous time.  Well, someone ought to be cheerful. 
Back in the staffroom, I decided not to tell my colleague about Mexico.  Instead I told her about the hyacinths I'd bought for my mother at the weekend.  I told her how the smell had hit me when I'd walked into the garden center.  How it drenched the air with the sense of Spring.  I described the snow drops I'd seen flowering in a neighbour's garden.  This was enough.  A smile was wrought from the promise of blooms to come.  Anticipation replaced fatigue.  Imagined scent seemed to replace the breath she had expelled.
With this in mind, please enjoy these lines by Saadi, the 13th Century Persian poet best known for his works Golestan (The Garden) and Bostan (The Orchard):
If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.
And breathe...

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