Time-lapsed Spring

I had the most glorious walk to the Butterwater River yesterday to see this massive tree that was brought down in the storms last year.

It was a beautiful spot to sit and contemplate life. I wondered how old that tree was – hundreds of years perhaps – it was huge! The course of the river is changing as it gouges out chunks of the softer, sandy banks to find its way past this obstacle.

Sometimes that’s how we must also navigate around the hard things in life. Seek out the softness, the tender times, the joy that may only be found in the gentle moments between the bigger events in life. One thing I’ve learnt from the Pandemic is the value in delving into the easily accessible and often overlooked simple things to make me realise how fortunate I am.

I hear birdsong and it cheers me. There is even music in raindrops if you care to search it out. Close your eyes and listen to the wind in the trees, and you can trick your mind into thinking it is waves breaking on a shore.

The smell of daffodils makes me smile. The scent of damp soil lifts the heart even on a physiological level – it’s a scientific fact. When you work with soil, you disturb microbes which, when inhaled, enter the bloodstream and act on the brain to release serotonin, the ‘happy ‘ chemical, which is a natural antidepressant.

Sunshine is such a tonic too. The sun came out this week and warmed my back as I planted gladiola corms – it was glorious. Fresh air invigorates pinkening cheeks as you walk on a crisp spring day – feel the pound of your heart as it pushes blood to your limbs and delight in the locomotion of it.

And perhaps this seems ridiculous, but have you ever savoured the taste of a glass of cold water straight from the tap – just the fact we have this piped to our homes when so many on our planet struggle to get clean water at all. Then there’s the fact that it is so deliciously cold (at this time of year especially) when in other warmer regions it would need to be chilled in the fridge first. There’s nothing like a glass of Seaghan Dam water… except perhaps l’eau de Paris! That was great tapwater too.

But of all the senses, sight is the one most easy to relay in a blog, and this spring I’ve been paying close attention to nature – maybe more than usual in the search for joy because of lockdown. In a few short weeks (I know they didn’t feel that short at times) or even days, buds have burst into blossoms.

My Instagram post on Monday last shows the first shy blossoms peeking open on a flowering plum.

But as I walked past the same branch yesterday the blooms had a more bawdy display.

This flowering current was all neatly parceled up like a jack-in-the-box on the 26th February 2021.

And then today I noticed it had ‘popped’!

Zoom out to see the full bush and it really is ‘wowser’!

On the 21st of February 2021, I was thrilled to see the daffodils’ heads swelling on the Rock Road.

Today the daffodil heads are definitely bobbing along that stretch!

And peas, poking their newly germinated shoots above the soil on 16th February 2021…

…Are cuddling up to their support system unaware of the support they are lending to me as I await my vaccine, the end of lockdown and a glorious summer in the garden with family and friends … and adventures further away than 10 miles too.

The good times are on the way and when they do bloom let’s not forget the thrills we’ve had from knowing that better days are ahead as we wind our way with open eyes and open hearts past the simple things available to us now and always.

Byddi Lee