Thursday 2 May 2013

Spring Break

I’ve been waiting for Spring before I stuck my words above ground, but what with the delay of that and the fact that melancholy had seeped into me like treacle over the winter, filling my veins and slowing my pace, four months have shot past before I’ve used my computer for anything but work.

Now I’m not one to wish my life away but I was so glad to see the back of 2012 and to be honest I’m still not sure the Mayans did get their dates wrong, the world kept turning but there were times last year it felt like mine was ending but more of that in a later post.

Late though it is, Spring has been doing its best, stabbing at Winters hold with its knife of colour, the blade is still quite dull but seems to be sharpening now with everyday that goes by, bringing more and more coloured highlights to the cuts from below while lengthening the days by peeling back the nights. However, winter hasn't quite given up, healing the wounds with an occasional covering of snow or washing them clean with an icy downpour or two.

I seem to have often talked about weather and it's odd behaviour over the last few springs, but possibly this is the new norm and not odd at all. I think the term is ‘global weirding’ not about hot or cold, wet or dry, just the crazy pendulum swings between them. Anyway the daffodils on our front verge, usually as predictable as can be, took forever to come into flower this year and then rushed through their glorious golden grin in a week and are now brown and battered. I think from the look of things we may be leaping over spring and landing feet first in summer, but lets wait and see.

Some wise soul told me that we’re a month behind, which seems about right but with a couple of sunny weekends at last, I’ve finally mown the lawns, planted a few plants and visited one of my favourite seasonal markers.

It was good to see that even my old friend has finally got into the spirit of things and is bristling with leaf buds.

This old tree sits in the Lady Hills. Now why these fields of lumps and bumps, dips and scrapes has this name I don’t know, but I used to visit them in another life, where, the hills seemed as high as mountains and the dips as deep as gorges and all of it  a long way away from home in Aby.

There was a story told about the fairy ring that sits on the higher plain that it was the site of a child sacrifice, the victim’s handprint still frozen in a stone at its centre. I’m sure this is just one of those things made up by kids to scare other kids, probably started by one of my siblings in fact, but whatever the source, it certainly used to work on me, many a time did I dally too long and had to race the night home, chased by my own beating heart.

Anyway, we still use these hills for sledging in the winter, the occasional picnic in the summer or for me chatting to the tree all year round.

Now he’s a great listener so good in fact to that rudely I’ve never bothered to ask what type of tree he is, as usual always too busy am I talking about myself.

He seems to have grown for purpose, roots twisted and exposed forming an ergonomic seat perfect for surveying the landscape from his vantage point on the top of the hill, branches drop low for shade and close enough to hear your whispers.

The land next too him drops away into a scrape, which he stretches an arm over to hold the rope swing that dangles over the drop. No one seems to know, or at least own up to tying it on there but it has had various guises over the years, even at one point having a comfy carseat attached. 

On this particular occasion as I chatted away to him, I thought this tree so old what tales he must have to tell, stories of hope and honour, dreams and deaths, lives lived or those full of regrets. These secrets kept with a hush of his leaves, or struck dumb within winters freeze, or shook with a golden sigh to the floor, I do wonder if all this discretion is rewarded, who does he tell his problems to.

Does a memory have a memory of you, as you have of it.  


  1. He tells his stories to the soil :). Welcome back to the blogosphere. I must admit I almost fell off my early morning chair when I saw this post! I carried you carefully over from Google Reader to my new made the cull when lots of other blogs didn't. I won't ask about your melancholy. Sometimes the best writing, the most beautiful paintings and the most heartfelt songs that linger deep inside strangers are written by people in the depths of melancholy. Treacle is fitting...slow running, you need a hot knife to cut it... Steve and I are addicted to trees. We fell in love with them when we started as wide eyed new students to horticulture. Neither of us knew how deep plants roots would invade our lives. Climate change is promising 2 seasons. We are about to lose spring and autumn and the brief time between the strongest of seasons will need some ajusting to to say the least! I hope spring brings you a hot knife my friend. Could I ask you a favour please? Could you give that wonderful old tree (just tried to see what it was and the best I could do was tulip tree by the leaves...) a pat for a stranger on the other side of the world. Cheers :)

  2. Thank you so much, your comments have made me remember why I liked to blog in the first place and have inspired me to keep going. It will be my absolute pleasure to give the tree pat and even a hug from you guys