Well over a month since I last posted here. Has anything much been happening? Not a lot. Or so it feels. A heavy head cold which kept me indoors, was followed by some encouraging signs of spring as I recovered. A few spring flowers and warming sunshine on the beach. And then everything closed down again. Falling temperatures, snow, ice, events cancelled, we were stuck inside again – going nowhere.
But even so things were happening, indoors, undercover. Aided by a very helpful Future Learn genealogy course I continued my family history research and made some useful progress. I also brightened the afternoons, when every thing was reduced to white and sounds muffled by falling snow, making cushions with Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Don’t they pop!
But they didn’t prevent more snow this weekend. I know our icicles and snow depths are nothing compared with what others cope with regularly, but it challenges us all the more as a result. I have not wanted to do much more than hibernate for weeks.
Facebook reminded me this morning of March 20th 2017, last year’s spring equinox when I posted on my blog here a collection of photos of colourful flowers from our garden. A bit of a contrast this year. The flowers have taken a battering, and this morning many are still bent and bruised by the remains of the latest snow. Many are not open at all yet. But this morning the sun is shining and there is a promise of temperatures rising. So here’s hoping…
It was wild in the night, the sound of wind and rain woke us more than once. The rain showed no sigh of stopping and I walked to the shop under trees tossing their branches in the blustery gusts. The lane was muddy and littered with twigs blown from the scots pines and many other trees around our house. A lot of the twigs were heavily covered with lichen, not normally so easily visible close up when the branches are still in the trees.
Lichens are not plants, (I discovered), have a variety of forms, and their complexity (and my ignorance) became increasingly apparent when I tried to find out more.
When I tried to draw the shapes from just one twig, they were so intricate that I had to resort to a very rough approximation. But I now realise I am looking at a whole new life form, very long lived and among the oldest living things. Wow, you never know what you’ll discover on a rainy day.
This little bottle accompanies me most days when I’m out and about. This morning we went to exercise class together, and tonight we will go to choir. Filled with water, I miss it if I forget to take it with me.
But its simple shape and bright colours are not easy to draw. And focusing on it makes me realise how clean fresh water is another everyday commodity I don’t often stop to appreciate. Today there’s a lot of water falling from the sky, so I need to be reminded to be thankful for its abundance, and that we have enough to meet our needs.
At the beginning of the month I said I would allow myself to have a day off if I didn’t want to make a comment every day. Otherwise it becomes a duty, not a joy. Yesterday I didn’t comment. Sometimes, like the wet Sunday yesterday, we just need to keep ourselves to ourselves.
But this morning the rain has stopped and these little flowers, glistening in the wet garden, are a joy. Hiding amongst their dark green leaves their subtle flowers aren’t garish, but nonetheless colourful. They made me want to draw them and attempt to capture their colour. Once again the process was all absorbing, the result not so satisfying.
But I feel better for looking into their faces.
It has been a busy couple of days, and I didn’t make any “comment” yesterday. Today there were no pressures and I could take my time. The morning was misty and grey and I stood at the window and watched a song thrush on the lawn. Stepping outside the first sound I could hear was the rain, but gradually I became aware of bird songs all around.
I am not good at identifying them all, but just listening was enough to connect with their underlying joy. So I made a little collage from pages from an old poetry book, and a drawing of a thrush. My comment on their songs…
This is the smallest of my pencil sharpeners but much the sharpest. I have had it for many years.
“Though she be but little she is fierce” – Shakespeare (A Midsummer Nights Dream)