Sunday, 19 May 2013

Shades


These pictures are a couple of weeks old now - taken around Beltane, they captured for me the moment when spring finally happened. I had been watching desperately for it, through cold bare days of baited breath  and suffocated growth, at times wondering if it would ever come; wondering if perhaps our apocalypse would sneak up on us in the guise of everlasting winter. But come it did, and for a few sparkling days the earth glowed and sang.

I honestly know of no greater joy than to witness things growing. I am eagle-eyed at this time of year, watching earth and branch almost hourly - seeing birch buds, starting as no more than pin pricks, gradually uncurling like tiny scrolls giving the woods a greeny sheen. Beech leaves too, opening like folded paper fans, translucent with newness. Palmy fronds of rowan emerging, waving in the sun












The empty ground starts to sprout a spreading carpet of wild greens and seeded weeds; nettles and dandelions familiar amongst the delicate scatterings of wind-sown unknowns. In my slow, haphazard way I have been cultivating the land about me - some begged, some borrowed - planting bits and pieces here and there. I watch my small efforts eagerly for signs of life, rejoicing when the perennials appear as if by magic - bare earth giving birth to shoots forgotten since autumn; astilbe, astrantia, aquilegia - I hover like a nervous mother over their slug injuries and frost bites.







And those sycamores, their swollen buds bursting at the seams, releasing leaves too long confined, so glad to be free, shaking the sun along their veins and spreading a canopy of golden green glory...

The transformation is almost complete, I type to a window of fully clothed hillsides. It is raining, and cloud hovers in the valley, the greening is settling down from limes and acids, to emeralds and olives, maturing and solidifying with the aging season. I miss the sun, the way it dances between the branches with the newly minted leaves, casting shimmering shadows on the floors where I walk.

6 comments:

Ian Hill said...

Oh, what gorgeous photos! Isn't spring just the best thing, bringing colour and light into our lives. It seems even more delicious for being late this year, although I sense that in the last few days it has caught up its usual pace.

Thanks again for your insights and lovely writing

Ian

Selina Gough said...

Thanks Ian, i find it tough when the sun then gives way to constant drizzle - I sometimes wonder whether our weather will send me looking for warmer shores one day in the future. I saw your writing being discussed on Twitter recently - I believe someone was hoping you'd have something published soon. Is there anything in the pipeline? The piece in the Earthlines review was beautiful as ever...Thanks for taking the time to pop in, it's deeply appreciated.

abearbyanyothername said...

You really are blessed. So many would walk through those woods and barely notice the life bursting around them, but you savour every moment, and then take the time to share your treasure with us. Now that is truly living in abundance - receiving and then giving.
Thank you for sharing this - for reasons mundane I have had my creative nose pressed firmly against the grindstone this spring, with barely a moment to walk in my own woods... or even check your blog! At least I arrive home in daylight now. I must make time to visit the Gnomes this weekend.
Oh, dinner is nearly cooked - must go and feed my body now. Thank you for feeding my soul.

Selina Gough said...

Thank you sweet bear, your presence here always brings a smile. I have been immersed in life outdoors and am only now catching up with online obligations. Hope that you're basking in sunshine x

Melanie said...

Another beautiful post, Selina...

I wanted to let you know that I've nominated you for a blog award (Liebster Award) - a token of my appreciation and enjoyment of your wonderful blog.

Truth be told, I'm a little hesitant about passing the award on - as it's a time consuming thing for those on the receiving end - and I know that spare time is anything but abundant for you! But, there is absolutely no obligation to participate - so please accept it as an honorary Liebster Award, if you'd prefer...

However, if taking part sounds like a happy prospect - the details are here:
http://bookishnature.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/another-day-liebster-award-part-2/

Hope you and your boys are enjoying the rivers and woods in this sparkling sunshine...

Happy summer days!

Melanie

Selina Gough said...

Hi Melanie, thanks - I quickly had a look over on your blog at the award and I'm not sure I'll be able to do it all at once but I'm thinking I might do it in bits. Of course, I'm really flattered...thank you.