Spring 2014

Once again the early birds are waking me with their calls. I can feel the change happening as I'm more ready to get up these mornings and less likely to huddle under the duvets (yes, two in winter!) resisting the sharp bite of a frosty morning.

A pair of tuis were in the pear tree this afternoon, glossy and fat, diving and flapping their wings at each other. Were they courting or fighting? Hard to tell. A simple tune rings out over and over as they fly from one treetop to another around my garden. The hellebores are flowering thickly under the plum tree, their shades of mauve and green dusted with little white petals which drift down from the tree. The daffodils are beginning to droop and the crocuses have disappeared back into the earth after briefly popping their heads above the surface.

Soon there'll be more blossom – the cherry, the pear – but this year the Granny Smith apple tree is gone. It fell down at Easter, the ground too sodden to hold its roots. I've cooked and frozen the last of the apples which I had stored in the shed. That's the second apple tree to die in that patch of lawn so I won't plant another. A magnolia might be nice – I'm admiring their display all over town just now. It's a short but glorious shout out to spring and makes me think of Walt Whitman's Louisiana oak 'uttering joyous leaves of dark green'.

The spring has given me a boost to get on with some chores. The concrete has been cleaned up and I'll seal it to keep the moss at bay; the house too is washed and shiny but the windows are streaky. Small repairs inside and out have been done but there's some paintwork to touch up when we get another fine day. It's all part of loving my home.

It also feels as though I'm tidying it up to a point where I could leave for a while. Where to, I wonder? Maybe this is just the restlessness of spring and when summer comes I won't want to be anywhere else.

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