Friday, 29 February 2008

Earliest hints of Spring

As the post-viral effects wane and I no longer find myself totally exhausted by the exertions of my ride to the office, I am able to see the tentative appearance of nettles, cow-parsley and hawthorn buds in the hedgerows. (telling me that I am behind in my own seed sowing for the allotment!)

It is so easy to be anthopomorphic about this and see behind it tiny elemental creatures helping spring on its way. From under the translucently skeletal oak leaves, poke first little elbows, followed by little tanned wrists which shake in released tension as a small, langourous high-pitched yawn is heard.
The snowdrops, having passed their prime, are left to their own dull green devices as the little fellows turn their attentions to other, more topical matters.
The energy in the ground is palpable. The force behind the bursting forth of the buds from formerly lifeless brown twigs is a tangible thing and, you know, I feel it too! Like the smallest green shoot, poking up inside my chest, the life-force of spring winds its way up through my kidneys, past my breastbone and up towards my trachea. I FEEL different. And rationally, I know it is just a diurnal thing with the lengthening days and the barely perceptable temperature rise.
But its so much more interesting to feel small hands present and responsible in the progressing fecundity all around. It is so tempting to take the slowly emerging feelings of vitality inside to be the manifestation of some vital life force, than the effects of hormonal and limbic action; The sudden pang of excitement, largely sexual i find, in the scent of the first cut grass of the year.
And really, that's what most of it is about isnt it. Soon it will be easter and fertility will be implied all around and I will be walking around mostly distracted with a stupid, dazed expression on my face. The same forces that drive the frogs in my pond to burp and croak so loudly all night is present in me, and quite properly too (I would miss it were it absent). And though the influence of this in me does not cause me, as it does with the fogs, to bellow "Choose ME!!! I am the best! I make good babies! I have good genes! Look how big and healthy I am!"
I wonder to what extent, we still signal some similar message in ways only barely consciously detectable, whilst unconsciously screaming out to those around us.

But before that, complacency must be tempered: Snow could yet happen, frost will almost certainly claim some of the frogspawn in my pond. My pumpkins could, like in 2004, be cruelly nipped in their youth by a late frost in April and my potatoes blackened in their hopeful foliar enthusiasm.
But me, I feel Summer coming inexorably, and i sense that, somehow, we are only really alive in Summer and winter, for all its stark glory, is a time we unwittingly shut down large parts of ourselves.
So, I rejoice in the approach of the warmer seasons, wink in response to the knowing gaze of my terracotta Green Man on my wall here, and stand aside as a tiny wizened figure carrying a daffodil bulb, scurries past my ankles.

No comments: