Bursting

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The cemetery is at its most luminous in late spring and autumn, the key hinges of the year.  In autumn, the cemetery hums with the colours of turning leaves.  But now, in late May, it brims with the lace of cow parsley and a tide of bluebells.  Spring has not come quietly.  It has burst, all of a sudden.  The cow parsley is so tall that the graves hide amongst it, or only peek over the blooms.  The vegetation has the untidy lushness of late summer.  The energy is playful and busy.  A robin strikes something, a snail perhaps, on the edge of a grave, crows caw and rattle, blackbirds sing.

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Hawthorn is in full blossom, leafy tresses daubed in clotted cream.  Horse chestnut flowers thrust upwards like snowy Christmas trees.  Sunlight plays between the trees, pooling in clearings and shafting through the canopy.  Light pours through the windows of the chapel, so that, seen from the outside, it is a transparent arch of illumination.  Scores of tiny flies dance in the air and hoverflies hover under the trees, seemingly motionless, like tiny baubles catching the light.  Most of the abundant dandelions have finished flowering, and there are waves of clocks like grey lollipops.  So much potential, the seeds of next year already on the wing.

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My creativity has followed the pattern of the spring.  Low key at first, it has now burst open.  Like the landscape, I’m enjoying a creative spurt.  My novel and stories are out for submission, dispersed like dandelion seeds,  in that sweet moment of possibility when something good might happen to them.   I have revisited the first novel I wrote, revising it to correct those niggles I have never been quite happy with.  There is another story on the go and I have joined a writer’s circle.  At times like these writing feels easy.  Words fall into place and stories present no barriers to being told.  Fallow periods and the panic of creation is forgotten.

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On a rare rainy day, I see my first swallows, two of them, darting and swooping over a roof top, switch-backing from one direction to another.  I can’t see any insects but they have obviously found something to hunt.  In the dene, the burn chatters and gurgles past miniature forests of yellow flag, thistles, cow parsley and purple comfrey.  The avenue of lindens is so lush it has become a tunnel of leaves.  There are swallows here too, but only a couple.  And more flies.  A particularly delicate creature flutters up into the trees before me, slowly, on spectral lacy wings.

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There is so much to see that I don’t know where to look, so much born and being born, so much potential.  And yet life is fragile too.  In the park, early one morning, I witness a vicious scrap between crows.  The two resident sentries of the park noisily mob another close to the tree where they are nesting.  They fight, beak to feather, then resort to dive-bombing the stranger, swooping so close I hear the crack of wings across its back.  But it is too late, the interloper has stolen an egg and proceeds to devour it, one small life that won’t be born.

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Among so much growth, it is hard to imagine this fragility, yet there are concerns that this year there have been fewer insects, fewer migrating birds.  When the rain falls, the tiny creatures disappear; when the sun comes out, there they are again in their hundreds.  I wonder where they go when the sun hides its face.  Perhaps they are poised, just like inspiration, waiting for the conditions to burst into life.

94 thoughts on “Bursting

  1. Good luck on your submissions. Hope you like your writing circle. I belong to one here in the area and have found it very helpful. Loved this post and the pictures. Glad your Muse is being so bountiful. Happy late Spring. Pat

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  2. This remaindered me of Emily Bronte – and was equally lyrically poetic! – “I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.”

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  3. Graveyards are a strange thing, we associate them with death, yet they are so full of life. I am excited to show the missus all your photos when she gets home, the way you chronicle the countryside is just gorgeous! Good luck with your submissions too.

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  4. How lovely! The cemetery is the perfect place to speak of such things as living and dying; fallow and fertile; lying low and bursting forth; thinking about writing and writing; solitary creative pursuits and writing groups. I’m also more inspired than earlier in the cycle of the year, and you’ve inspired me further to finish and submit some pieces this week. Good luck with all of your writing and submissions!

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  5. Beautiful, as always. Lots of good luck with the submissions. It’s been incredibly humid down in London and there’s been an explosion of growth in the parks and cemeteries. May seemed to pass incredibly quickly but then maybe it always does.

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  6. I can’t decide if I like the words or the photos better–I’m glad I don’t have to choose, and can just enjoy both! Beautiful, beautiful. Best wishes for your literary submissions!

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  7. Andrea, what a fertile muse that church cemetery is with overgrown wild flowers! It’s like a dream from my childhood. Even the headstones are extraordinarily beautiful.

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  8. Bursting is about it!
    How wonderful to have all those new blooms, all that variety of colour among the quiet of the gravestones. A symbol that everything continues, everything is born anew.
    Uplifting.

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  9. Your luminous cow parsley looks breathtakingly beautiful in the special light of the cemetery. You certainly seem to have ‘all of the spring’ in this special place. I’m very impressed that your local council have let nature have its own way there. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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    • It does Richard. The new part of the cemetery is as you’d expect, tidy rows of graves on lawn, but in the old part they do let nature take its course. There’s a new policy across the borough of leaving some spaces natural for wildlife when grass is cut, which is good to see.

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  10. A lovely post filled with curiosity. I too, wonder where the birds hide when it’s raining. I’m also very curious about that cemetery. Are those headstones ancient? It looks like the place is abandoned, but still growing wildflowers in honor of the long ago humans that impacted life on earth. I love reading old stones and imagining what their thoughts and feelings must have been. Is that place near where you live?

    Good luck with the submissions. I’m also feeling some inspiration. Hope the energy continues to flow for us both.

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    • Thanks Lori, the cemetery is about a 15-20 minute walk away. It was opened in 1857 but some of the graves are older as they brought together burial grounds that were scattered across the area, I know there are definitely some from the 1600s. There is a new, ‘tidy’ part of the cemetery but the older part is allowed to go a little wild across the year. Wishing you lots of creative energy!

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  11. This is beautiful, Andrea, in every respect. Your description of spring echoes what has been happening here on a daily basis throughout May. And I was very recently in a churchyard which is special to me. Unlike yours, it was on this occasion, neat and cared for: brimming with light and love. And because of that I could see my churchyard through your lovely photographs – the common bond shines through. Lovely!

    (And good luck with the submissions…)

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  12. Wow, Andrea! This is incredible – the graveyard. I can’t help but think that the spirits of those buried here are absolutely reveling in the color and wild growth of it all. What great photos. (Still sorry about the crows’ loss.) I am so happy to hear that you are writing and sending and feeling so creative. Fingers crossed for you that your hopeful emissaries into the wilds of publishing houses bring you some good news soon. Cheers!

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  13. Andrea, a wonderful poetic, lyrical prose post … no one else here captures our natural world as you do … I feel as I’m with you, watching in awe and admiration the flitting birds, the flowers, insects … the magic all around! Described with such beauty, tenderness and keen observation! You show us how to look!

    I’m so happy the writing is going well and wish you best of luck with your novel and short stories submissions. -keep us posted! 😀

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  14. I’m bursting with joy that your creativity is bursting. And that is the perfect word for the way spring has finally burst in the scene here in NE, also. Purely miraculous.
    Kudos to you for disbursing your writing “like dandelion seeds.” Love that metaphor. May they pollinate and grow.

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  15. Beautiful post Andrea .. your words and those delightful images marry perfectly. Good luck with your novel .. 😃 The writers group sounds great. Is this a private group Andrea or done via a tech or school?

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  16. Beautiful writing and photos, Andrea. May was amazing, wasn’t it? So much growth and change packed into so few days! I wish you very much luck with your novel and stories and fun with your writing group.

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  17. Hello Andrea, you certainly brought life and beauty to the old Church-yard, I could hear the buzz of insects and the sound of the many hidden voices. Wonderful.
    Keep smiling – keep positive – keep writing. Good luck.

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  18. They are fab pics Andrea. And good that the cemetery grounds have not been enthusiastically strimmed, at least for the moment. Spring in all her glory having its moment.

    Pleased to hear that the writing is going well.

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  19. Dear Andrea, I’m so glad to read that you are feeling creative. Each of your posts is like a gift. Your words are so beautiful. This old cemetery is so lovely, and yes, rather fragile looking too.
    May your creativity continue to flow without end. Hugs on the wing!

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  20. Hi Andrea, so good to see your creativity bursting along with the spring – and boy, it did come all at a rush didn’t it? Some days it feels as if our long, cold winter turned into summer with no spring at all. Having read this and your previous post together, it is wonderful to read of your writing successes, many congratulations my friend. You draw ever closer to your prize. You inspire me to keep going with my memoir. For a long time, the panic you describe had me in its clutch, and I despaired I would ever find the right words as I plunged into each chapter, telling the story I need to tell. It eases at last. Beautiful post, and what gorgeous photos.

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  21. Oh Andrea,what a ravishing post… your words are so poetic and deeply felt, and the pictures of the cemetery, the lushness of summer, the brightness of spring made me ache with homesickness.
    I truly believe that these exquisite corners of England, the ancient architecture, the verdant growth, the green leafy trees, the bluebells the Queen Anne’s lace ( my favourite name for cow parsley) the bird life, the dreaming gentle quality of the atmosphere make these scenes some of the most beautiful on earth…

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  22. Your words, and the way you present them, are so soothing and beautiful. The accompanying photographs, absolutely beautiful.
    I am delighted to hear that you are experiencing one of those glorious moments of creative flow….enjoy. I am also very pleased to hear that you have written a new book and are waiting for publishers to get back, hopefully with a positive response.

    I am very partial to graveyards. My Mother used to enjoy doing ‘grave rubbings’.

    You left a comment on my last blog ‘When the Universe Whispers’ and somehow I have lost it….A wordpress gremlin maybe? When you have a moment if you could re-instate it, I would really appreciate, as I would like to respond.

    Hope you are enjoying a weekend filled with possibility and the joy of creative flow. Janet 🙂

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