Sunday, 25 May 2014

Slowing Down and Watching: Spring 2014

A few weeks before my father died last autumn we were reminiscing about my childhood and teenage years and he commented, as people often do, on how fast time seems to go.  I remember his exact words: 'just a blink'.  I know what he meant.  In the last few years someone seems to have pressed the fast forward button and the spring has come around and is gone again too quickly.

But what a beautiful spring it has been.  There has been rain, but I don't mind as it's just made everything so much greener and more lush and there's been plenty of sunshine too.  As I've walked the roads and paths around the village on my usual dogwalk route, I've watched the trees and hedgerows change. First the blackthorn blossom, the bank of yellow primroses by the railway line, the bright yellow gorse flowers and the occasional cowslip.  Now they've faded and there are shiny buttercups, spiky nettles and delicate cow parsley at shoulder height.  On the ground is a litter of confetti made from tall horse chestnut flower candles and pink tinged hawthorn blossom washed away too soon by the rain. And yesterday, to signal the beginning of summer, the first of the pale pink dog roses.

I've spent a lot of time alone this springtime.  The child, who used to be my constant companion, is growing up and needs me less now.  Our roles are changing: now she plucks my eyebrows; fixes my make up as my eyesight is fading.  Calls me 'cute'.  My husband has been cycling up mountains in the Peak District and around lakes in Scotland, chasing after his youth.  Still, being alone is fine - they always come back to me.

Ten years ago in her 'Cute' hoodie.  Now I'm 'cute' it seems
I, meanwhile, have been slowing down. Leaving the laundry to pile high in the ironing basket.  Saying no to earning money marking poetry examinations.   Ignoring the dust and staring out the window at the birds.  Not doing, but watching.  The robin tries and fails to cling on to the peanut feeder, gives up and then hangs around below to catch scraps left by the blue tits, who feed two or even three at a time. The nuthatch uses its long beak to feed upside down and warily, checking all the time for danger.  And we've had a woodpecker, a glorious, colourful creature, black and white with a shocking red belly who darts back and forth from the orchard next door,  gorging greedily and leaving the feeder swinging.  Perhaps taking food back for little woodpeckers in the nest.  Occasionally there's a magpie, robber in disguise as a policeman in white and shiny blue/black uniform, patrolling menacingly below the feeder.


This post was mentally composed on Tuesday to link to One Week which is a set up by
Older Mum in a Muddle.  Unfortunately I slowed down so much I missed the deadline.  Never mind - there's no hurry.

7 comments:

  1. Slowing down is good for the soul, I am glad you are enjoying yourself doing just that. It is a bit scary how fast the time passes, isn't it? I sometimes wake up and worry it is a year later. Enjoy your week Dorothy. Cx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My brain is quite obviously non functional after a weekend in the fresh air. I meant to write Doris of course. I am so sorry! Cx

      Delete
    2. Thanks Christina. Still trying hard to slow down. The trick is not to squeeze too much in I think. To do list getting shorter.

      Delete
  2. What a lovely lovely post, such gorgeous descriptions..... and slowing down is very good for you, the only way you can take life in and properly enjoy it. Sorry you weren't able to link up, but so glad you wrote this post anyway! X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Will try to be on time next season!

      Delete
  3. Oh yes, I hear you! I really don't know where time goes. This past year has really sped passed at the speed of light. Work has been so busy that I haven't had the energy for blogging so have to make an extra effort to do a few more posts before May is out. And read a book!
    I'm all in favour of slowing down, even if it means a growing pile of laundry (glad I'm not the only one who has one) and I love your description of your dog walk and bird watching.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes the problem with blogging is that it can just add to the stress - another thing to do. But I do so love reading about others lives and connecting with people so it's one thing I will make time for.

      Delete