Earlier in the week, although cold, the sky clear of rain, the wind had dropped enough for a walk on the beach and enjoy watching the waves fully alive before each crashing with the incoming tide.
Later, hail and sleet forced retreat to the library; on the 'returned today' shelf - a copy of Helen Dunmore's book of poems 'Inside the Wave'. I had recently read that Helen Dunmore was posthumously awarded the Costa book of the year award last year. Most of her poems were written when Helen knew she was dying, of cancer; some from her hospital bed. Short, easy to read whilst sitting in the library. Her poems are touchingly uplifting, life affirming, very light and dark at the same time - true. The title poem to be 'inside the wave' before it breaks is to be ALIVE. . . . . . .
. . . . . . Back home, cheerful tulips - metaphors, poems resonate. In many different ways our fragile lives are cut short, or changed in an instance - we must flourish as long as we can.
My life’s stem was cut
But quickly, lovingly
I was lifted up,
I heard the rush of the tap
And I was set in water
In the blue vase, beautiful
In lip and curve,
And here I am
Opening one petal
As the tea cools.
I wait while the sun moves
And the bees finish their dancing,
I know I am dying
But why not keep flowering
As long as I can
From my cut stem?
Helen Dumore (1952 -2017)
I've been happily sewing brightly coloured cross-stitch hearts, a Helen Philipps design, to send a little love out this week.
February's snowdrops in the local churchyard, heads dropped before opening to show tiny snow bells, represent innocence and purity in white and green.
Quilted cushion, started last year for Christmas from a moda 'nordic stitches' charm pack, perfect for Valentine's day. The hearts are quilted with red and light-blue cotton, on white squares, giving a seasonal look to my cane chair. My lovely moomin cup showing a little hug. Wishing you love too and a very happy Valentine's day X
A few weeks back, a visit from my eldest son Sean, Victoria and their springer puppy Jura, on Rossal beach with Brian all bundled up against weather as the sun was setting; so cold, as the wind whips up from the Irish Sea. I've put the photos in a slide show - makes for a quicker walk! Next post a lot brighter . . .
Candlemas Day, 2nd February, half way between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox; the pagan feast Imbolc yesterday. A beautiful day here full of sunshine but still a biting wind. I've had a rotten cold for the past fortnight, much better today and don't want to venture out properly yet. Not the 'flu thankfully that has brought much finer folk than me down. I'm at the age where I get a yearly 'flu jab and this year the pneumonia vaccination - a once in a lifetime apparently after 65, unless you have serious health problems.
Snowdrops are here again, February's 'fair maids'. Not feeling like doing very much, drawing with a few felt tips, filling the bird feeders, and sewing a bit. Awake at night reading loads. usually have one nature book on the go, presently "Meadowland" by John Lewis-Stempel. He says that Candlemas is the day by ancient rite when the hay field is 'stopped' or 'locked up' when all livestock are removed to allow the grasses to grow unmolested until the hay is mown after midsummer. He is an historic naturalist and organic farmer in Herefordshire so he should know. I used to regularly walk on the Lugg meadow in a different part of Herefordshire, his book brought many memories flooding back, of that time and that meadow - "Meadowland" a beautiful, knowledgeable, poetic, personal record of a year in his meadow. I have to say that I always thought that the sheep and cattle were moved out of the meadows due to flooding at this time of year.
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