Everything is more colourful: narcissus, muscari, pansies, primulas, tulips, herbs in the fairy garden, star magnolia. it's so much lighter. The heavy feeling has shifted. My yoga teacher has made a full recovery. April's garden is beautiful, red- tailed bees are dashing about, courting bird song of blackcaps, chaffinches, sparrows and seagull all in a heady chorus. Spring has sprung!
A new Easter bunny, Parsnip, is happily sitting in a basket with chocolate chicks and bunnies. Parsnip's soft fur is made with velour furnishing fabric, with blue spotted cotton ears. Dressed a little hastily last night and slept in his clothes to make an appearance this morning; from recycled baby T-shirt and trousers. His eyes, mouth and claws are coloured embroidery thread. I think he will be sporting some better clothes very soon.
A sweet little duckling card from my sister Ang. A painted boiled egg for breakfast. I still like the tradition of painting real eggs, even with no children here. Crafting and sewing makes me happy, 'good when times are difficult or stressful, and a pleasure at anytime.'
Two little hearts made for friends I meet at a weekly aqua zumba class and have coffee afterwards. One friend, her Mother died last week at the amazing age of 101. To think of all the historical events she has lived through - and changes witnessed. . . two world wars. . .
A photo on a card, poppies from the weeping window at Hereford Cathedral, sent to me last week from a dear friend, Denise. I haven't done her photo justice as she's managed to take the poppies with snow in the foreground. The poppies are there until the 29th April; part of a touring 5 year arts programme connecting people with the First World War. www.herefordcathedral.org I don't think I will get to see them so its lovely to have this picture. . . Thinking of my friends, the poppies, . . . thoughts of my own dear Mum and Dad, both passed away - my Mum fifteen years ago last week, and my Dad thirty-four years ago last week. . My eldest son's birthday born thirty- four years ago, Sean, from the Irish, meaning, 'gracious, - a gift from God', one of my most precious gifts.
A Buddha, my new garden ornament; a wonderful unexpected gift from my current yoga teacher. She has been ill with a chest infections and difficulty breathing (a real worry for a yoga teacher) for the past six weeks, I offered and have taught the class for the past two weeks. My insurance is valid even though I haven't taught for two years due to moving and Brian's medical appointments. Teaching again has been a privilege and a pleasure. The Buddha is sitting in the sunshine among the daffodils.
It is Easter Sunday, Christ is risen; for me there is no conflict between Buddha and Christ. Compassion, forgiveness, passion, a nurturing gentle breath of life, resurrection. Love, light and happiness are all. Happy Easter X
"Daffodils, that come before the swallow dares,
And take the winds of March with beauty"
Daffodils (narcissus) in their yellow petticoats and green gowns made their welcome appearance for Spring Equinox. Still a biting cold north easterly wind, but how lovely the lengthening days of light. . . daffodils shouldn't be put with other cut flowers or they will poison them. When they die down, even though untidy, they shouldn't be tied back or their leaves cut; leave them for six weeks and they will repay you double in bulbs for next year. Groups of bulbs may be lifted and divided in early summer to improve flowering. Narcissus, loved for many centuries, were used in ancient Egyptian funeral wreathes. Immortalised, among others by William Wordsworth as a 'host of golden daffodils' growing wild in the Lake District.
Crocuses, the coming again of Spring or so the song of the Crocus Fairies would have us believe - 'yellow, mauve and purple, in brave array; white like a cup of light, hundreds of them are smiling up . . . '
A brief walk by the Wyre Estuary passing a flock of ducks,huddled together at low tide, tall swaying sedge sings and bends in the wind. A family visit. A sign in the picnic area ( far too cold for a picnic.) Notice the sign - a family of thirteen used to live here in a two bedroom cottage! There are still damson trees here - picture for the autumn. Spring lambs happily munching the grass, and prickly gorse bushes.
Fast forward a couple of days - or backwards - Spring is shutting down, winter is not giving up without a fight. Blue skies turn grey, the bitter east winds are blowing snow in. March is roaring in 'like a lion'. Much of the UK is on red and amber alert with snow warnings, only a morning's fluttering here; there is snow in fairyland in my garden.
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.
Happy New Year! I'm late starting up, writing in birthdays from last year's calendar in these lovely new ones , and filling in appointments. Looking around where I might hang them and notice my spider plant is bursting with 'spider-lets', not quite sure what to do with them; I've never been too successful transplanting the babes into pots.
Only one photo outside as its grey and wet, except for this hardy cyclamen such a pretty shade of pink which is scented. And, an embroidered heart.
New Year's Eve as I post, hard rain outside 6.30 p.m, but that hasn't stopped the revellers, fireworks have been going off since 5 0'clock. This was our last walk of the year to the Wyre Estuary at Stannah. Gorse bushes don't mind the frost, their golden flowers shine through thorny stems. A curlew and a flock of ringed plovers on the mudflats. I love the way the rushes bend with the wind and protect the local wildlife.
My last post of 2017 : a candle of concern, lit for absent friends and their loved ones present or gone before them, but cherished forever. And to wish you all a bright and peaceful, Happy New Year.
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