Thinking Like a Tree

These are pictures from last year, and choosing them really showed me how late everything is. This time last year the alchemilla looked like this:

and it does, just about!But in my May folder there are pictures of my iris border in full flower, and it’s only just in bud now, and all these aquilegias – barle a twinkle in the border’s eye!

Things are beginning to move very fast now. I still have the very last daffodils, the cowslips, the lily of the valley and the tulips, while the rowan and cow parsley are in flower and the sweet rocket – which may well go on all summer is begiining to show. The housemartin nests under the eaves across the river are full of noisy chicks already, though they only came back at the beginning of the month, and the first birds – the sparrows, starlings and chaffinches have fledged, and there are young greenfinches on the riverbank, while the black-backed gulls are still sitting tight on eggs.Tadpoles in the pond are large and very lively, and the magpies are courting disaster trying to fish for them – mostly without success. All the vegetables are planted out now, and the window-boxes are ready to go into place.

On the writing front, things are maturing nicely, mostly thanks to the conversations I have having with a poet I met at Wiston Hall – Cora Greenhill, which have not only moved me in a new direction, but made me more aware of the complex and multi-layered processes that go into my work – all of which should mean a bit less thrashing about in all directions trying to get moving, and a lot less settling for the quick and empty image-grab. If I’ve been a bit quiet lately, that’s mostly why. I’m having a moratorium on the whole jumping-in-with-both-feet thing, becoming less of a magpie-mind and a bit more grounded, persistent and nurturing to my ideas – more like a tree, maybe? It’s rather a pleasant process!

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