Spring has Sprung
Winter was mild this year which has made the harsh winds of the last weeks ironic. But the sun has been bright and the winds are dying down. So although the crimes of this winter have been slight it was handsome to read the bard RS Thomas’ line “Winter is forgiven by Spring’s blossom.” But as always this season brings to mind Putney’s strange son Swinburne’s, lines
“When the hounds of spring are on winter’s traces; The mother of months in meadow or plain Fills the shadows and windy places With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain;”
The long weekend saw us on Vivien’s cousin’s North Suffolk farm. Here the land is too good for livestock and fields lie miles after mile unfenced with few hedges. Each field had its own hare which once within earshot starts the 2.15 from Walthamstow. Our dogs were too experienced to give chase.
Winter wheat is progressing, the bold fields of saffron rape stand firm, the ponds are full and the sky larks twitter like practicing choir boys. But this is now and on the horizon the lazy gyre as a nest of wind turbines do their business by the sleepy town Eye.
And of course the odd field of sheep. The lambs are now a month old but still they scurry to the teats of mothers, some seem happy with their motherhood, others seem irritated by the incessant demands of their young. In a few months we will see these offspring as large as their mothers demanding their milk. How many human parents experience that seeming absurdity.
As we walk through the fields they open up like the beginning of a film. One field leads to three, three fields lead to six and so on. The sky is endless, the hares run and suddenly above a kestrel hovers in the wind. Kingdom of daylight’s dauphin indeed. Spring has struck, the leaves graduate from pupa to butterfly, the sap rises