Today Radio 4 promised in a poetic moment that the clouds would burn away as the day went on and it would get a bit warmer. Here’s hoping!
In the garden, there are daffodils, the magnolia is unfurling a first bloom, the hellebores are at their best, and there is leaf burst here and there, with tight buds on the bay shrub and glossy new leaves.
A pair of handsome jackdaws are ripping all the moss out of our little lawn, which is slowly being colonised by daisies. I think the jackdaws have a plan. They arrived about three weeks ago, figured out how to balance yin yang style on one of the feeders meant for the small birds, but are very equable with the other birds, yielding gently and avoiding arguments. My sort of bird!
The hawthorn is full of juicy green leaf clusters, the alliums are getting ready to play host to bees. I saw one huge bumble bee the other day, slowly going through the garden, but it really is too cold for bees to be out and about right now. The cardoons have survived the winter, as have many of the other plants; in particular, there is the thrill of peonies to come, big fat shoots making their way through the leaf litter.
I think of my friend Betty, who I keep safe in my heart, when I see the peonies making their way to the surface, she loved peonies and planted them all round her Edmonton house. That’s how I know they can survive a cold winter!
Tubs full of last year’s spring bulbs are purposeful once more.
On the kitchen table I have some tulips from a kind friend, but it feels a bit like cheating . What do you think about cut flowers? I have very mixed feelings.
The wood pigeons are still feeding from their little ground feeder on the vegetable bed, the walls of which have suffered once more with all the repeated frosts; the wooden seat under the birch trees has begun to rot away and is host to a determined fringe of fungi. Some re-thinks due here in the next year or so.
By the side of the playing field adjoining the woods, the plum trees in the hedge are covered in tight little white buds; the first intrepid few opening only yesterday.
It can be a time of conflicting emotions. All this new eager life, looking for sun and water, space and time, love and death – the big stuff, the stuff I don’t blog about. OK, just one more thing…
Today it is a year since Alan Peck died. We miss him still and are grateful for the gift of his teaching and his life. I hadn’t known him that long, less than a year, but his smile lit up a room and his welcome was extraordinary. If we all smiled like he did and opened our hearts the world would be a better place.
The Buddha said:
This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds
To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance.
A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky,
Rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain.
THE ONLY THING WE REALLY HAVE IS NOWNESS, IS NOW.
What the caterpillar perceives as the end, to the butterfly is just the beginning.