SPRING IS SPRUNG
Spring is sprung, the grass is ris,
I wonder where the boidees is
The boidees on the wing, but that’s absoid,
I thought the wing was on the boid!
A crude attempt at an American accent! Most likely from the Bronx.
Where my Grandfather spent some time in his misspent youth, chasing after a long lost love and on into Canada. Leaving Granny back in England to cope with the children, but she was a compassionate soul and took him back when he realised his folly lying face down in a cold, Canadian gutter in his cups!
It had all gone so horribly wrong after an idyllic courtship on the Wrekin hill in Salop. And here’s one from the Shropshire Countryside, his birthplace:
When I goes out of doors
I meets one of me foes
So, I knocks him on the nose
In the ditch he goes
Where the water flows
And that’s all I knows!
Weird or what?
Not that he was a poet, neither is this a time for poetry, but it just came to mind as he, bless him, often comes to mind in the spring and summer when on holiday, he would teach me all about his time with the Indian Nations in North America. This took place in the Welsh mountains just south of Snowdon, at his cottage retreat where I spent many happy hours listening to his stories.
We would then play the parts: He was always Tecumseh and I was Big Chief Sitting Bull, of course! He was generous in his teaching and in the games we used to play, gradually introducing me to the secret paths through the bracken and the lookout post enjoyed by his beloved son Peter, killed in WWII, whose passing he never really overcame and wore black until I was twenty, at which point I was so overjoyed to be able to buy him a coloured tie for his birthday! He eventually retired to stay in my aunts house at Pilton in Devon and bought himself a three piece tweed suit with hat to match and with a walking cane he was quite the country squire! He is still looking after me and was my inspiration to write my own stories having passed at 93.
It was not surprising then that I spent time learning in depth the philosophy of the Lakota Nation in whose company I had spent another life learning to become a Shaman, sadly killed before I reached the magic number of twenty. But for the last fifteen years, in this life, I have had the joy of spending that magical period with the one who shared that short life with me as a brave and we are here together again for the last life, having spent time in England, Belgium, Spain and now back in England. A full circle of happiness!
Nothing is ever lost, but the pictures, feathers and reminders hanging by the wall of a lost life bring back those memories especially my drum’s deep tone, when I occasionally play the dance rhythm I recall. The One Tribe Drum was made from the hides of natural or road kill deaths of animals, no embellishment or decoration other than the natural pigments of the animal concerned, with the various elements that make up the instrument including the woven fabric of the cover, made by the tribe.
There were times when I only had to play the drum and sing to go into a trance state and bring much needed messages to others who shared in the North American Traditions here in the UK, but that is a time passed and others now carry the flame to younger generations.
Spring is one of my favourite seasons and my greatest joy is to sit and watch the new growth and to see our many feathered friends enjoying the treats put out for them, as the garden springs into life once again. It is the time of new beginnings related to the direction of the East where the Sun rises each day. I recall reading that one avid Twitcher put out the seeds to entice the Gold Finches into his garden and waited for fifteen years for them to arrive. We were so fortunate that only after a season we were visited this last winter and this spring by the beautiful Finches and also Blue Tits amongst all the others who call on a daily basis. We even had Field Mice come to steal the peanuts from the bird feeder!
I’m sure you will forgive me this time of reminiscing, watching a new Spring springing forth in our garden as I recuperate from the incisions and plantings within this old husk by the surgeon healers, trusting in a complete healing as I get back to normal in our beloved natural space outside.
The dry stone wall that borders the garden was like a band of jewels of gold and deep pink as the primroses transplanted last year came into their own with the pale purple of Sweet Violets and Aubrietia.
Much as we have endeavoured to colour scheme the various areas of the garden, nature will have her way and having planted Parsely with other herbs at easy to reach waist height with other plants in our secluded Monastery Garden it has spread throughout the available, though minute, sections of earth and pots to give us that much used herb for the kitchen so that we have it throughout the year, in covered and uncovered plots and pots!
It is so rewarding to see the recovery from barren earth in winter of the other herbs which we love including the most surprising, at least to me, of the giant Lovage which grows taller than me, the Sage that does so well together with the Bay, chives, Rosemary, and Thyme which remind us of Spain where the last two grew wild on the hillside above our home.
Well, I could go on but I here the kettle sing and will leave you as it’s time for tea, not in some far flung corner of a foreign field, but in our beloved Devon, and hoping that you enjoy yours too.