Sometimes, the earth conspires in gracious serendipity so that you think it’s sending a message just for you. On the week that I begin writing again I witness so many tiny wonders that it seems like a sign, dovetailing with my newly awakened inspiration.
The day after inspiration strikes, I am greeted by the first goslings of the year. A pair of Canada Geese stand guard as their brood peck nonchalantly at the grass. Later, they slip into the water to pirouette around the pond, the parents heads bobbing, as though pointing the right direction, a gentle honk calling back any stragglers. On another pond, the punk orange heads of baby Coots and Moorhen chicks peeking through the reeds. The smaller birds are harder to see at this time of year, but I can hear their ardent songs and glimpse them high in the trees. And at the end of this enchanted week, the first of the swallow family appear: sand martins flitting around the cliffs at the coast.
Overnight, new life has appeared. The pinks have begun to join the yellows, with an abundance of campion lining the paths. A handful of delicate cuckoo flowers contrast with monstrous butterbur leaves. I see my first orange-tipped butterflies and a comma feeding on the dandelions and watch cabbage whites dance together in delicate spirals. It is blossom season, but this year I’ve been more attentive to the subtler flowers of the trees. The flowers that we don’t always notice: the broccoli like florets of the ash and the tiny green sprays of the sycamore. I saw my first hawthorn blossom at the rubbish dump, of all places, brightening up the wait to get rid of our clutter.
This year I’ve struggled to re-balance after the winter. I began the season with a box of dreams sown in the dark months and an impatience to bring them to life. Instead, I fell into a fallow period that persisted for the first quarter of the year. Spring has been slow to come, not in the earth but in my spirit. My creativity has gone, not into my craft, but into my home. An extended period of nesting: weeks of wallpaper, paint, carpets and curtains. Bags and bags of clutter divested, clearing a space for other things to come in. But now I’m fledging the nest. Beltane is the start of summer, the first big festival of the light half of the year. It came and went without much ceremony. But I was waiting, I think, for the earth to let me know it was time to give birth to my plans.
In another moment of serendipity, after writing about ruins, I have cause to visit the 7th century priory that broods over the mouth of the river. I wander ruins overgrown by Alexander flowers, unconsciously absorbing history and landscape. And it is the ruins that wake my creativity, insinuating themselves into the half-written second novel that has waited for attention since last year, taking it into a more satisfying direction. So as the signs of new life flourish, I find myself in that magical space at the beginning of a creative adventure, at the point where ideas might take flight or never leave the ground. I hope they soar.