Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Spring has sprung!

"Nature often holds up a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth, renewal and transformation in our lives" - Mary Ann Brussat

Well it is now officially spring-time! My birthday has just come and gone and I usually find myself reflecting moodily on the year just passed and the new one now beginning. The past year has been a good one though, bringing good people into my life, and new experiences building on old ones. I still commute back and forth to my spiritual home in France, where I am lucky enough to be surrounded by nature as well as the company of my 3 cats, 1 hedgehog, twenty frogs and some cheeky (and brave) birds.

Thinking about what it is I love about nature so much makes me think about how we are all connected to this side of living. A more intuitive and season-led way of living. While I am in London it is easy to forget this and at weekends I usually make sure I get into the great outdoors. Take my cats' adaptability, intuition as well as their patience for instance. They spend day after day, finding enjoyment and entertainment in the minutiae of changes (unfortunately killing some of it, although as Persians their killer instinct is barely there). They are patient about time passing and have no concept of achievement, status (other than the occasional squabble for the spot on the sofa), passing judgement nor their widening girths and greying hairs. Their company is so easy, with their friendly faces and their comfortable presence in the house. "Patience is the companion of wisdom" (Saint Augustine).

I live quite quietly, wandering around my garden and the vineyard beyond. Spring is the time to really appreciate the changes as new greenery begins to poke through and the dead wood from the year before quickly disappears (it birds don't carry it away for their nests then the locals make quick work of it in their wood-fired ovens). As my house and garden age, as well as needing a lick of varnish and a spot of weeding, they resonate with all the memories that I have collected in this place.

This is all quite apt at a time of year when I am so conscious of how quickly my years are speeding by!

"...Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand..." (Anne of Greengable’s much loved stuffed toy sums it up!)

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