1 March 2019
Songs of morning are not the same as evening; evening songs are deep and bass and sonorous and full of memories; memories of where we flew and how we flew and who we twittered with and worms we fought for; whereas morning is sharp and clean and bright and full of hope and of desire of who we might meet and dance with in the air; sung loud and clear in future tenses.
2 March 2019
Scales fail to tip to full spring nor fall back into winter as cool is brought by night rain yet morning sun sets immediately to evaporate the residue. Night struggles to maintain a cold humidity sufficient to keep the bees within their hives whilst sunshine sets the birds atop the trees to song.
3 March 2019
Drear and dull and drizzle mask the mizzle and the mist; as if winter and spring had gone off carousing and abandoned the world to its own imagination. And then a wind whips through almost a solitary gust tight against the ground and rising to sear the face with chill; seasons may stand and watch the world but they have not yet relinquished mastery.
4 March 2019
Wind rages and shakes skeletons to break branches that are not strong enough for spring and summer; blasts the air toward us such that our scent is blown away and our careless steps are lost within the bawl; so much so that the brindled black backed boar is unaware of our approach until young dog whose long deep lupine instincts are still struggling within his DNA can hold himself no longer and with a child’s vigour and enthusiasm hurtles toward the beast; who registers us and thankfully for young dog’s health simply steps away through undergrowth.
5 March 2019
Rain has dampened earth and enthusiasm; sudden showers make even the dogs reluctant to go out; and amongst the wet grass just stretching and straining to begin the months of growing are golden coins heavy with the fall scattered across the field like toys hurled from a passing pram by its angry occupant; coins we call weeds the curses of lawn lovers and yet richer than all his tribe.
6 March 2019
Wind presses in chill and damp threatening rain and holding down the little purple flowers that spread across the earth; sniggering in the branches at their hope of spring and sun and warmth; warning them that winter may yet have unfinished business and they had best keep down their heads for now.
7 March 2019
Last night thunder and lightning blown by wind brought much rain and soaked the soil filled the river; now sunshine strides across the earth to lift the sparkle on the leaves and warm the world; and rain comes back behind a cloud and hurls a shower on the newly heated ground; then riding a surly gust of air escapes before the sun can catch it and contain it and let the spring spring forth.
8 March 2019
A cloth like England’s silver sea lies across the land; the dew of winter brightened to catch the morning sun; and in amongst the sparkling grass a myriad of diminutive purple flowers scattered in happiness across the earth; and at the edges standing waiting their heads bowed in solemnity are winter’s pall-bearers golden daffodils quietly whispering of lies and gossip as they stand in bunches until the service starts.
9 March 2019
There is a wondrous pleasure to drizzle and to drip; to the slow intrusion of damp beneath the clothes; to the squelch and slide and sudden slip of soft earth turned to mud and wanting so desperately to become slurry; to the globule of water that accumulates on high and waits its moment then as a head is bent plunges earthward to smack a neck and ripple down a spine. I understand there is some pleasure but I have yet to find it.
10 March 2019
Spring rains are hardest on the leaves of autumn sucked dry of goodness before their trees discarded them; now brown and black and thin they start to disappear; crocuses in purple cowslips of yellow and violets glowing violet begin to hold the scene whilst all about is burgeoning green from ferns to ivy grass to twigs barely baring leaves that may become old bent oaks they begin to bury last year’s litter; and underneath the soil sucks away at them to turn them back to earth.
11 March 2019
Walnut stands in sunlight; silent now but even chilled by wind the slender sun brings some heat and stirs the cells and warms the sap. Seeded before we were here; before my birth; before my parents; probably before my grandparents were born. Leaning away from the river that may erode the bank and let it tumble it could be releasing fruit for an hundred years or more.
12 March 2019
Winter’s chill waits to slow the warmth of morning’s sun and draws in wind to help. The world awaits the outcome seedlings panting for the start unsure if spring will ever rise; some rushing forth in hopes they will survive; whilst old growth oaks a century gone are sitting on their dormancy gently stirring sap in certain knowledge that their time will come and blossom will burst forth and leaves will grow and build their food in air.
13 March 2019
Bursting forth blossom spreads across the mirabelle rushing from branch to branch like wildfire; white flowers hurtling into the warmth and damp and sunshine of an early surge of spring hoping for a step ahead in setting fruit; yet deep at risk of winter waiting in the wings and turning on them to squeeze and crush the life from each and every petal with a single frosty night.
14 March 2019
Finch gold and glad at food hanging for its delectation fails to notice us then young dog’s sudden movement sets it flying so low and slow that young dog’s speed agility and hunting instinct catches it. Soft mouthed my cry holds attention for a moment that allows the bird to flit away but not to fly; buried deep between stones and brambles I lift it out ready to end an injured life. The warmth of hands perhaps or time perks up the head; a stoke of wings revives them too and with a shake off it flies unhurt. Young dog head down as if in deep remorse heads out along our walk.
15 March 2019
Ground has had her share but the best of dew and drizzle sits proud upon the leaves of grass. Rain insufficient to wash itself from ellipses curved across the earth has fallen from bramble leaves that hang as if in shame. These would be spheres balanced on a blade splayed by gravity and held up and oblate by their self-driven surface tension each are notes we see in light that sing the song of time.
16 March 2019
Rusty red earth ploughed deep and hard; slender winter growth crushed to rot alongside the stubble of the last harvest; thin frugal fungal threads that fed the roots sliced and diced; worms cut and crumpled; carbon lost to air; and now the soil awaits the herbicide to kill any foreign growth and the pesticide to kill the insects that would feed the birds that would sing the song of life.
17 March 2019
Birds sing with joy to any passer-by whilst the river mumbles quietly to itself and the wind answers by plucking at the trees and twigs rushing through the bramble and the ivy and swirling across the river’s meandering banks; great breaths beat out across the land and grasses and hedges lean away from true then as the wind inhales straighten up again until the next lungful is expelled; and suddenly there is silence.
18 March 2019
Frost crept out last night whilst wind and rain caroused and slumbered and painted a pale thin veil across the grass; darker surfaces and those more sheltered were saved from this indignity. Now sunshine comes and plays the shards of ice like ivory keys of light; sparkling and dancing glinting and hinting and slowly disappearing; a final wave of friendship from sun to frost and morning has arrived.
19 March 2019
Light chill and a sense of silence; deep and dreadful fear that birds have fled this little woodland paradise as they disappeared from field and stream as the sprayers lurched across the horizon. But no not yet; not yet; stand still and listen and they are there singing merrily and chattering contentedly; and as we walk the numbers rise and hold the plot; for the moment the world is as it has been at least in this small space.
20 March 2019
Green begins at ground and as the solstice passes will climb on high; and first the willow as if weeping for the world begins to green its fronds before growing and extending them; before waving them in summer’s winds; it flags the start of this one step; blossoms were the first and still abound and this the second to be overcome and lost as buds push out new growth on trees around.
21 March 2019
Take your places for the equinox dance; frost has sprinkled diamonds across the world; the river pushes out a tempo and the birds sing sweetly to build the music; sun rises warming skin and backs enough to make you turn whilst wind gusts in with swirling chills to turn you back again; and flowers lift their heads and open to the coming spring.
22 March 2019
If they could sneer they probably would these gangling adolescents; thin and struggling for the light the saplings rise not like some army from the earth but a haze that barely registers. Deer may take them boars may break them or they may merely fail in their fathers’ shadows or as their parents suck away all moisture. True breds born from seed stand beside the clones most often from damaged trees that having lost their height now spread out underground; and some we hope will still be here in centuries hence to shade our grandchildren.
23 March 2019
Humble bumble bee buzzes gently round hunting for a crevice or a nook a cranny or a cleft a fissure or a split a cavity or a chink a crack or perhaps a niche; a place of and in wood or stone that can be home for a season; a space to build a nest and grow its young.
24 March 2019
Scat lies beside the path; bird and dog sometimes boar and deer; and with time the creatures of the loam climb out and up beetles ants and flies devour it for the second goodness scattering remnants on and in the earth; then worm and microbes and fungi consume those remnants for a third meal releasing finer and finer particles that clump together in the wonder that is soil that sings as it nestles seeds and grows the plants that feed the animals and birds and us.
25 March 2019
Sharp wind cuts the morning with its chill gusts bringing down the arctic from whence it came; treetops sway a little in the flurries and grasses bend away from breezes; but all is insufficient to stop the rising sun that has gathered warmth from southern climes to scatter here; and thus the tiniest plant has hope emblazoned on its leaves.
26 March 2019
Sun climbs as earth turns banishing the night cold pushing the wind to drive it out and overwhelming the stars that fill the night sky in cloud and rain; stars constant through the daylight hours like soldiers standing guard unseen. How many worlds they carry through the firmament; planets that might harbour life; life that might hold spirit hope and love; love that somewhere on some plane of life we may sometime touch.
27 March 2019
Lightness and brightness in the still chill air; birds sing more softly and more sweetly of late the raucous arguments of the spring before spring have faded; there is a harmony between bird and tree betwixt flower and grass; a concord that links the gentle sounds of birds to the melodious and soothing beat of water in the river; even the buds that will be bluebells are just poking their heads above the parapet of green.
28 March 2019
From deep within the bramble branches stares out a face; old leathered worn by years wrinkles cut within the skin eyes dark and socketed no light reflecting but they follow us as we walk burning on our necks; and if we dare to turn and check are downcast looking nowhere. A gust so gentle it would barely stir a feather is the last and final weight for this creased and ancient face to carry and so it turns and breaks and crumples into dust. Last season’s oak leaf hanging through the winter finally has reached the earth.
29 March 2019
A difference between these urban birds and those of rural home is in the air. The songs are similar but have a different edge slight and barely heard something indescribable; heard only in those moments when attention is elsewhere; turn focus to it and it is lost a pretence a mask that fades leaving a wisp of nothing in its place.
30 March 2019
All sounds are lost at the gurgle of a baby; all sights fade at the smile of a toddler; both tell of a unending trust; a trust in us that we will stand guard and do all we can to hold and protect; a trust in us as adults to hold the space for them their lives and hopes and dreams; and as the birds sing quieter than yesterday where stand we with that trust?
31 March 2019
Night rain and drizzle dampens paving slabs and softens grass; some feeds the earth to hold for us but much drips away to drains and tunnels and to rivers and the oceans; the rest is lifted by the sun; so taps are turned and hoses run to feed fresh water to the plants and lawns.