Spring at last!
14 March 2018
Here I am again finally feeling myself after about four weeks of flu and aftermath. If you have had the one I had you will know what I am talking about. When I described my symptoms to a friend she warned me I was likely to end up feeling very low just when my physical symptoms began to improve. She was right. I felt unable to concentrate on anything and wasn’t sure what the point of trying was. Not at all like me. But it did get me thinking (afterwards!) about how we can be overwhelmed in this way when we are grieving. Even the smallest thing can feel beyond us. Adam and my friends kept telling me to rest and accept I wasn’t recovered yet and how wise they were. Suddenly, one day I woke up and I knew something had shifted. Now after a death of course it does not just shift and go away it shifts and returns, surprises us and changes shape all the time. But I think the kind advice still applies. Give yourself time, don’t expect to be over things fast. Be kind to yourself and accept that grieving is a long process. Trust yourself to know what is right for you, whether going to a party or staying in is what you need right now. We each have things that nourish us and other things that leave us feeling drained. When you are grieving you need to avoid the experiences and people that drain you. You do not have the resources. Look after yourself by seeking out the friends that understand and the activities that feed you. It might be a silly film with a friend on the sofa beside you, a long walk on your own in the country or getting into your shed to tinker about or treating yourself to an outing to a cafe. And you are allowed to cancel all arrangements at the last minute because what felt like just the thing last week may not feel like it when the time comes. People should understand and if they don’t they probably weren’t the person you needed to be with that day.
Meanwhile, spring is with us despite the setbacks. There is more light now and up at the burial ground the aconites are shining gold in their lovely green mantles and we are seeing rosettes of cowslip leaves everywhere and even a few out already. There is no doubt they are beginning to seed themselves around the site. This is very exciting. We know this can work since Adam got wonderful results across the road at the windfarm site and now we seem to have reached a critical mass and can see it happening at the burial ground. The bluebells that people planted near the Roundhouse on Family and Friends day are starting to push up their leaves and we can see that colony beginning to thrive too.
Sometimes I can feel rather unwilling to step into spring. I love the clarity of the bare winter trees, the sense of being allowed to rest and light the fire and settle in but Monday was the kind of day that calls you to be outside – the rich blue sky and the high light clouds, larks spiralling upwards and scattering bright notes. Recently I saw a flock of lapwings elsewhere on the farm. They like the ploughed fields - dipping and rising on those round ended wings and calling their gentle cry. They come and the fieldfares leave. Some weeks ago I noticed a tree filled with a mixed flock of fieldfares and redwings. Then I looked at the next tree and the next. All filled with birds like fruit sitting on every branch. There must have been over two hundred. These moments are gifts. Nature really reminds us that nothing stands still. There is always a shift of some kind – from bare branch to bud, from one continent to another, from bleakness to a sense of hope and purpose. We all face frost and sun.