Spring has suddenly sprung upon us! Just a few days back I was clad in thermal leggings, jeans, wool sweater, and a down coat taking photos of frozen lakes. Now here I am today in a long sleeved T shirt digging up the nettle roots and bricks holding my wrecked polytunnel cover in the ground and thinking about seed planting! It went from – 4 to 9 deg. in one day and seems to be sustaining it’s temperatures. The mind is dizzied! Hope I can keep up!
Sometimes I miss the wonder of it, immersed in plans and busyness, but leaning out of my window on a spring morning I pause to smell the freshness, the scent of nature outside my window, the gentle warmth of the sun on my face, bringing colour and light to the surrounding garden. I remember the beauty of it all and I’m so glad to be alive.
When our hearts are wintry,
Grieving or in pain,
Thy touch can call us back
To life again;
Fields of our hearts that dead
And bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat
That springeth green.
(From “Now The Green Blade Riseth” by John. M. C. Crum)
I’ve been making the most of the sunny weather. I’ve almost finished digging manure into one side of my allotment. Sounds dreadful but it’s actually non smelly matured stuff, (the fresh manure is for autumn I discovered). It’s actually pleasant to work with, though hard work to dig in a foot down!
My baby lettuces are sprouting in their trays getting ready for transplanting and all my other leafy stuff is planted in mini plastic milk bottle “green houses”. (The root veg are waiting on the non manured bed being finished off).
I’ve even planted flower seeds in a kitchen tray for the pots outside my apartment. I love to see the first tiny shoots coming up after the winter. Spring is here, but it’s hard work sometimes – still it will help me get in shape for summer clothes lol!
Sometimes we just need to press the pause button and stop to take in life.
This happened to me yesterday morning. My usual cycle back between the lakes was feeling tedious. I felt myself unconsciously pushing to “get it over with”. Something wasn’t right. The route is glorious and the trees were all decked in gleaming new foliage (even on a dreary day which this was). It had to be me.
Instead of hasting home to get started on that ever present “to do” list I pulled over by a bench, propped my bicycle and sat gazing out over the still waters. Starting to chill I watched the birds (expert chillers!)
There was a small splash in the water. A moor hen was diving for food. Only then I realized what my beleaguered senses had been oblivious to. There was a chick on the lake, the first I’d noticed that year. As I watched, fascinated, the mother passed her wriggling prize on to the baby. I sat contemplating as the mother tirelessly bobbed down again and again providing the chick with a hearty breakfast.
It slowly dawned on me – this was the real world, the continuing one. Oblivious to our petty dealings nature continues its timeless rituals, there’s such peace in that.
(I didn’t have my camera along but this bing photo will give a close idea.)
The sun is shining, my back is a little stiff from allotment digging, and there are trays of pansies and viola bedding plants waiting in the kitchen to go in the border outside my door. My lilies and roses still frangance the downstairs rooms and now the hyacinth ( both mother’s day gifts) wafts sweet perfume across the keys of my laptop as I type. Spring is here and everyone is wearing a smile!
I’ve come downstairs the last two days not to the sickly smell that it seemed I could never quite get rid of (we seemed to be taking it in turns to be sick over the last month) but to the glorious smell of the lilies in my mother’s day bouquet. They were beautiful from the beginning but now they fragrance the whole apartment. The sun has been shining and spring is promising it’s arrival. My hyacinth (another mother’s day gift) has doubled in size promising future fragrance. Such encouraging pressies for the tail end of winter!
Not only that but my daughter (who’s been staying with me since returning to the UK) has just found a cute little place just around the corner for her and her son and hopes to move in right after Easter. You can see why I’m smiling!
(View from my bed)
I linger this morning taking in the sunshine and gentle breeze. Grandson departed for the weekend, it’s just me and the sunshine. Nostalgia gone this morning I’m basking in English spring (remembering there is no real spring in China where I lived just rain, more rain, then the heat of summer). In South China beauty reigns in autumn but in England in the spring.
I think it was Kipling that wrote from India, “Oh to be in England now that April’s here,” (and May and June…)
It’s a time to be here to see nature awaken and blossom, to feel the chill winds turn to cooling breezes. I am reminded that where ever I am to be content, to take in the beauty that surrounds me and to breathe it out to others, sharing these breaths of nature’s bounty. The hand of God is everywhere!
I love this time of year when the buds begin to open as if sleeping eyes woke to the sun, so sudden from one day to the next.
Silver birch- one of my favourite painting subjects.
Cool, still waters of the lakes.
Trees in blossom everywhere!
In spite of “severe cut backs” still alive and greeting the sun, somehow reassuring.
An old man walking his dog told me “there’s a black swan here now. Don’t know where it is, maybe the other lake.”
I hadn’t seen it yet but promised I’d keep an eye out. Right then it appeared from behind a tree conveniently preening it’s self just a few steps away. There are many swans on the lakes and river here but the black one is a first!
I love to peep between trees at the water (hard to get the effect on camera though.)
Finally , not as pretty, but often my port of call after walks or photography (they serve amazing hot chocolate, or, now it’s spring, home made ice-cream or smoothies!)
There’s just something about Morris dancers that brings out my English side (which tends to be quite diluted by my many travels). The bright colors, cheery smiles and simple country dances evoke echoes of a far simpler past.
Like the the Victorian book of hand illustrated poetry that presently adorns my bedside table they recall a rich heritage which so often lies buried beneath, hustle, bustle, cell phones and technology. It must be so for those of other lands also.
The gay rhythms and crash of the sticks beat to a slower time a life attuned to season and nature. A time morality was more straight forward, the world less complex.
The childlike naivety of the dance recalls memories of a time when I was young and love and courtship seemed more innocent and pure.
(Photos from my Easter in Weymouth)