In my Green Garden…

…Life has pushed its hands through the roots of a tousled sleep, and teased out flower, feather, dandelion dreams, the scream of swifts combing through the blue.

Snake's head fritillary, daisies and dandelions in our garden mini-meadow

Snake’s head fritillary, daisies and dandelions in our garden mini-meadow, April 2015

Words have been trying to keep up with this new, wide-awake pace – but have trembled. They have needed a little longer in the sun to unfurl. They have followed a slower track of light than the leaves greening all around me.

This spring, sorely-needed Time has sat down beside me in the drowse of bees and the breeze on the page, turning the hours to look up and see a great spotted woodpecker, black, white and startle-red, amongst a snow-fall of blossom.

Folding into its pocket the soul-weary close of last summer, Time has worn the concern of  a healer. It has come forward, hesitantly at first, with small gifts: an autumn-gold leaf, loose on the air; spinning loss like a coin – and landing future-side up. A robin, its ages-old gaze – beadily wise – pinning my feet back into a steady place; singing me to rights, and moving me on with a bold push through the winter cold.

Then came the greening – the riotous blurting of voices in shades of yellow and purple; bucket-throws of blue, pillow-bursts of white. Time for sitting back on my heels, and just watching, absorbing; coming back to life. Time for blackbirds to slow-stitch the rents where heart’s ease has fallen through; their song glossy-black and morning-yellow – like sunlight on warm molasses.

And time for the Chiffchaff! Who could ignore the Chiffchaff? Shouting out the spring, like a space-hoppered child who wants to play – hitting you with a football-thump of joy.

It’s been a difficult, sad, sad year; fraught with many anxieties and emptied out by the loss of my dear, beautiful mum. But, each day brings new layers – a folding in – and opening out – reasserting the onward cycle which is a part of all endings. Old days, old times fold into the new; alive side by side – and above and beneath – building fertile soil. Butterfly wings open a hair’s breadth of spring into summer – and the Bookish Nature word-leaves are gradually, gradually unfurling…

This beautiful song, Green Garden, by Eivor Palsdottir has accompanied me through the winter and spring. It says so much:

It’s been a gift-filled – and, for me, more keenly felt than ever – life-affirming, green, green, healing spring. Time, I think, for this blog to catch up with the Earth’s orbit, and to ‘rise again, from the shadows…’

Thank you so much to all Bookish Nature’s followers and readers, old friends and new, for keeping faith with the blog.

Ox-eye daisies in our garden mini-meadow

Ox-eye daisies in our garden mini-meadow, May 2015

20 thoughts on “In my Green Garden…

  1. Melanie, how lovely to see you again,
    I have missed you and hoped all was well, and also knew that things were happening for you – as they have for me – which would make it impossible to write.. sad for you about your mother … life and death are so irrevocable…
    I came back to blogging a month ago, after my life had turned upside down… there are hints in the blog before last..if you have time to read.
    So looking forward to reading your beautiful soaring poetic prose and lovely thoughts and insight again, love, Valerie.

    • Thank you for your lovely words, Valerie – so lovely to see you again too. I’ve missed you as well. Though – as I said over on your blog – in a way, I do feel as if I’ve enjoyed the benefit and pleasure of your company, whenever I’ve immersed myself in your beautiful, deeply perceptive book. I read The Sound of Water over the winter – before Christmas and into the new year – and it was such a restorative. A wonderful, insightful, rebalancing tonic. It got me back to reading; calming my focus again. Thinking back again to Thoreau’s wonderful words from Walden you quote in your blog, that ‘bloom of the present moment’ is so important. Even if we just manage to witness the first openings of the bloom in the tiny scraps of noticing/ time that are available to us when we are caught up, by necessity, in all the day to day worry and coping and first priorities, it can keep us going, and connected to something wider and overarching, until we have the time to sit beside the pond…

      I’m so, so glad that you’re writing again; so wonderful to read your blog posts. I do so hope you are managing to find your balance and your fulfilling path – and those ‘broad margins.’ Love, Melanie.

  2. Hello, it’s lovely to hear from you again. I’m so very sorry to read of your troubles and overwhelming loss, but am glad that you are emerging forth and feeling better. Take care, Lori

    • Lori, thank you so much for your lovely, thoughtful words. It’s good to be back, and so nice to hear from you again too. Hope all’s been well with you. Looking forward to catching up with your latest thoughts and book-treasure finds on your blog…

      • Thank you! There should be a new and particularly interesting one, or possibly make that two, posted very soon, this week. I temporarily abandoned my blog too, too busy writing and chatting elsewhere about music, but have recently started it back up, so hopefully there will be something of interest for you! x

  3. Your words are so beautiful here, and I am so sorry about your mother, it is one of the most heart-breaking losses in life. Glad to see you unfurling … I think your mom would be happy at that. I too have been having trouble finding the right words. So I am silent on my blog. Time will tell.

    • Thank you so much for your lovely, kind and understanding message. Sorry to hear that words have been eluding you too. As you say, Time is key. I think, sometimes, a break away from a blog helps. Time itself is so elusive – and I know that I really needed any scarce spare moments I had to connect with the tangible, solid, happening, natural world, where those moments can really grow and experiences gather. It’s such an unnerving thing though, when words and expression feel so blocked. It took quite a while after I started personally unfolding, for the words to follow suit. Words are such tricky things sometimes – and then they might suddenly begin to flow… Meanwhile, in the silence, all sorts of new inspirations are getting the chance to take root…

    • I got there in the end! 🙂 🙂 – getting started was a bit like pulling teeth, but so lovely to hear that the new-found inspiration “flow” (hesitant trickle) is going in the right direction! Thanks so much for your kind words, and for all your support and encouragement!

  4. Yes – the old folds into the the new, like the most wonderful, magical cake.

    And I do declare that in your first photograph it looks to me as if your garden has sprouted a tiny, ruby-colored Tiffany lamp!

    • It’s very good to see you, Aubrey; hope you’re well – and my apologies for being so late with this reply!

      My husband is responsible for the sprouting miniature Tiffany lamp – he busied himself planting snake’s head fritillary bulbs in our lawn a couple of years ago, and they are slowly beginning to feel at home there, I think. One of my ambitions is to make a trip to see their rare and precious wild cousins, growing profuse and free, in the wildflower meadows of Cricklade and Oxford…

      I think you might be interested in this Guardian newspaper article about them, and their resemblance to Tiffany lamps – (a resemblance which the author traces back to the influence of William Morris and Charles Rennie Mackintosh on Tiffany designs…)

  5. So good to hear from you again. I can of course understand why there has been so long a gap since the previous post, but I see I am by no means the only one to have, as it were, kept faith! Now, as spring moves into summer, I can but hope and pray that the year will continue to be for you, and, indeed, for us all, life-affirming and healing.

    • Himadri – so lovely to hear from you, as always. My apologies for being so very slow to reply – I’ve been rather overwhelmed by lots to catch up with lately…

      A big thank you for your lovely, understanding words – it was truly uplifting to read your message. I hope you and all the family are well – and that, indeed, everything life-affirming is shaping your days… The spring and summer have been very busy here – and have brought lots of healing and good things our way so far. So much to write about on the blog – and so little time to organise it all into words! Very much looking forward to catching up further with you soon…

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