The turn came in an instant. Thursday I sent a letter to my beloved community (are you signed up for letters from the land?). I wrote about that feeling that winter will go on forever; the interminable freezing mizzle; the frustration that begins to itch, and my intuition that that frustration is, in fact, a sign of Spring.
Friday I woke to a different world. I felt it. I spoke to a friend a few miles away, who’d read my letter, and she said ‘today it arrived, though, didn’t it?”. It did. A blue sky somehow softer and with a different tone. The birds singing, singing like crazy.
On these cusps, time stretches. Last week feels like a lifetime ago, because it was still winter, and now Spring is here. Not fully, of course. I see the freezing temperatures are forecast to return. But once you’ve scented it on the breeze, seen the pollen lift from early blossom, the green shoots break tips through earth, there’s no going back.
I am becoming aware that these branches will bud soon. I am singing to myself in the car as I drive. I am looking for the less thick coat, I am leaving my scarf behind.
The texture of time
Because I am paying attention to these things, because I am allowing this seasonal obsession of mine to catch me in its eddy and pull me in ever deeper, I became aware of the texture of this time. This waiting, and then the arrival. I experienced it when waiting for the birth of Elias last year.
The sensation of rising anger and frustration, of heightened anticipation – a pulling away from, or rejection of, the present. I am fed up with winter. This morning, when I meditated, I found myself checking the timer on my phone repeatedly. Ten minutes to go, three minutes, thirty seconds. I couldn’t settle. Couldn’t let it be.
And then it arrives. The sun. The tone that tells me my sitting time is done. The first contractions.
And I am plunged back into the present, I embrace it once more, the relief is sweet and it washes over my head like a tide.
So I learn more with every turn of the wheel, about what it is to be alive, thinking, breathing, feeling, curious mammal that I am.
Beauty came like the setting sun
This week a poem came to me; a memory. I didn’t know I knew it by heart, or at least the first verse, but it has been going round and round in my head. These lines speak of the end of a terrible war, a winter greater than any I have known, but a winter nonetheless.
Spring is life, is hope, is meaning from the bleakness. Sassoon said it like no other.
“Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on – on – and out of sight.
Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away … O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.”
The singing will never be done. May it be so.