Spring turning

As if by magic, we’re on the eve of the 1st of March, St. David’s Day, and spring felt like it had sprung in the valley. 

I’ve actually been in London for most of the week – and it’s been a busy week of site visits and meetings. I’m longing for the day when the office will all be back together – something tells me that won’t be for months, yet. Time will tell.  For now, it was a weary me that caught the train back to Dorset on Friday night, arriving home after dark.

But Saturday morning was clear and bright – Charlie and I woke early, at dawn, and went for our usual round over the hills with the dogs. 

However many times we do this walk (which we take in different directions, with a few variations from time to time) there is something strange that you can never get bored of something so familiar – when each day the precise effects of light and atmosphere and the moment of the season means that it is always completely different.

One thing that’s never different is the dogs’ desire to chase a ball.

Cattle grazing in the valley – a very peaceful thought…

Mist rising on the lake next door to our landlord’s beautiful Gothick house….

And, frosty that morning, Charlie’s incredible vegetable garden which is looking as neat as a pin after months of hard work.  His daffodil bed is about to break!

We had lunch in the garden and I slept in the sunshine both today and yesterday – which always feels good, but such a rare and special treat at this particular time of year. Another turn around the hills in the afternoon….

Long shadows slanting, but the sunshine was warm. The cottage borders are about to burst too…

Primroses spill down the bank, Charlie’s laid the hedge and the lilac trees are budding nicely. 

That evening, completely still, and the little light from our neighbour Ed & Christine’s kitchen window matching the golden sky beyond. 

We went out before bed so Charlie could close up the greenhouse – the moon was high and astonishingly bright, and with the weird effect of the new i-phone you can take strange moonlight photographs which almost look as bright as day….

This morning broke even more beautiful – clear and bright. 

The catkins on the hazels that I planted when I first got to the Parsonage, in 2008…. 13 years ago now. It’s amazing how quickly trees grow.  They were tiny single twigs in the ground.

Daffodils are coming out everywhere, right on cue. 

Happy dogs!

And this afternoon, we went for a walk in the balmy sunshine and an entire hedge bank had come out in primroses. 

There is nothing more beautiful and delicate than the scent of wild primroses.   I knelt down and inhaled deeply – all the promise of spring in one moment.

I have no doubt, as we always know, that March will have some cruel, cold days – it always does. But today, just for a moment, we’re allowed to dream of hot summer days.  The mornings are so much lighter now – I suddenly realised that we’re just 3 weeks away from the Spring Equinox, which always feels like a very good moment.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve always preferred the change seasons to the heights of summer or the depths of winter (funny, thinking about it for the first time ever, that one is high and the other is low). Every day seems so precious when the changes are so pronounced and yet so fleeting.  This week, the snowdrops are over – but we noticed the first blackthorn in the hedgerows.

I suppose that the enforced lockdown has again taught us the pleasure of small things, and that small really is beautiful. Before the world picks up again, and the hustle and bustle, the heater skelter starts all over again…. it’s good to remember this moment.

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