Hope

I have long been a lover of nature. The contrast of the seasons has been one of the many reasons I never took or sought out roles or career moves that had me in sunnier more consistent climes. That and what I like to call the depth of our soul, the history and quality of our architecture the richness and comforting nature of our communities and traditions. Since turning down a job in Sydney in my 20s, I knew I was a home girl. I like being near my family and my many and varied friends, I like Blighty and I love the four seasons. None more than Spring.

Spring is always a relief. I’m begging it to arrive as soon as the first snowdrop is up in January.

Snowdrops pushing up through winter’s hard baron soil

That white dab of light in a dark long winter. I then look forward to the daffodils and the hyacinths in everyone’s gardens and the glorious lines of hopeful yellow bursts that flank the sides of my road. Daffodils I helped plant nearly 15 years ago, that keep on coming. Making us all smile because we know the light nights and longer days are on their way.

I get my love of daffs from my Mum. Wordsworth was onto something too.
A beautiful iris, its delicate petals being jostled in the wind

Spring is my favourite month. I think it always has been. My depression is definitely worse in winter. Daylight and the feel of sun gently warming my skin certainly warms my soul and makes me believe that more is possible and I can cope. I have to make less effort to hide my inner loneliness and black dread. I’m always a smiler, but spring makes my heart sing. I smile inside and out.

A few days ago I went on a short walk around the block. I was having a rare moment of being physically alone, alone in good way. Alone in suburban nature. I was listening to the bees in the blossom and the birds, who’s song seems happier now that they don’t have to fight with aircraft and traffic. I always try and tune in to my surroundings. Whilst often being focused on my end goals or ‘to do-list’ I always try and notice the details of the periphery. I am also blessed (I think it’s a blessing) with an incredible memory. If I experience things in a multi-sensory way, I remember them. So I play attention to my senses.

A lone hyacinth in my front garden

On this walk I notice the smells of spring too. That fresh smell that comes from new shoots and blooms previously hidden deep in a dusty looking bulb. Of starting afresh.

I wish.

In my garden my husband and I (makes me sound like the Queen!, but I’m trying to avoid naming people) have planted a few little beauties which pop up every year, sometimes taking us by surprise. The peony is another favourite, it’s petals so tightly and neatly snuggled up to each other that they create a near perfect sphere, before bursting to life.

Surrounded by all this new growth and life I wonder if the cancer cells I harbour are shooting new blooms and tendrils or dying back like an internal winter.

I briefly contemplate how many more springs I will enjoy, but for now I want to drink in this one. To meditate in its rich, bright and hopeful palette. To forget about cancer and to leave the screaming children at home while I wander quietly around the block.

Sadly, the welcomed early warm weather will dry up all the beauty of spring petals, stealing their scent and wrecking their form. Some years I feel I wait so long for spring it’s a shame to rush through it.

Much as I love the warmness of the sun on my skin I want to linger in spring and all its gifts a little longer. ..

The annual wonder of the magnolia tree. It’s robust yet fragile blooms. A tree I’d love to have in my garden, but haven’t had much luck with.

5th April 2020