Was it Autumn once?
Did gold leaves flutter
down and lie?
Kaleidoscopes whirl as winds gust by?
Was it Summer once?
Did green leaves flutter,
while sun and rain
nourished hedgerow-flower and field of grain?
Was it Spring once?
Did daffodils flutter,
their dance to learn?
I remember. Never fear – Spring will return.
There’s quite a bit of symbolism in today’s picture. Because we’ve just marched fearlessly into a brand new year, naturally, we expect it to be bigger and better than last year – we’re like that, aren’t we?
So, here we are, a week into the uncharted territory of 2017 and what? Well, so far – for me anyway, it turns out that this side of the border is pretty much like the countryside we know so well – back there in 2016.
Back to the symbolism. The Robin may look like a refugee from a used Christmas card, but he is a survivor. For him/her the year ahead is always one massive challenge. Starting now he/she must establish control over a large enough area to attract a mate, build a nest, lay eggs, raise chicks and never for one moment relax his/her vigilance. He/She has started singing already – he/she is pretty upbeat about the whole thing.
The gorse bush has produced a few flowers. Edward Bach believed that gorse could help people who believed they were beyond help. OK we’re only a few days into the year – so it may be a bit too soon to feel beyond help.
But, here we are – a Robin and Gorse – it’s going to be a struggle, but we have to believe that it’s all going to be worth it.
Perhaps we should start singing, too?
‘I’ll just light another joss stick, I think the candles are fine as they are.
‘Now when I go into my trance I won’t know what I’m saying so will someone please take notes.
‘OK, we’re ready. I’ll start my mindful breathing.
‘Does anyone have a message for us? Is there anyone there?’
‘We have a message for all Humankind from The Creator of the Universe.’
‘Quick, quick pencil and paper someone – I’m going into my trance.’
* * *
‘Erm. yes, well. Hi Guys.
‘Now, about these last few years. You see it’s like this. I’ve been quite busy – I’ve got a lot going on down at the other end of Creation, and you know, this stuff can get quite stressful. I’m on my own here, you know, so I have a lot of pressure that I have to deal with and, well to be honest, you guys aren’t helping.
‘You know what I mean, this constant drone about peace on Earth? Hey Guys, I get the message. OK?
‘So, you know, you guys have been around for a couple of million years now, and I was hoping we were past all this petulant tantrum thing – and maybe getting to be a bit more mature. Huh?
‘This is not rocket science, Guys, you know? Peace on Earth I mean. No, it’s not rocket science.
‘Peace on Earth? Goodwill to all men. OK – it’s as simple as that, do follow me here?
‘So, come on now guys, help me out a bit, huh? Goodwill to all men – simple as that – not rocket science. So, I’ll leave that with you, shall I?
‘Right, em, like I said, I’ve got a lot on just now, so, er, catch you later. OK?
‘Oh, and yea – Happy Christmas.’
‘Yes, I have. Does it look all right?’
‘Don’t hairdressers just cost a fortune these days?’
‘Oh, Marco, of course.’
‘You have to sit there for hours. I was under the drier for so long – I dread to think what that did to my split ends’
‘Well yes, I did get a cup of coffee.’
‘Actually, for once, there was a magazine that I hadn’t read before.’
‘Yes, me too. I don’t have time for reading. If I didn’t go to the hairdresser, I probably wouldn’t bother with them, either.’
‘Oh, there was some quite nice bedroom furniture. Not really my style, I must admit, and I definitely didn’t like the carpet.’
‘It’s not,is it? It shows every spec of dirt, and I mean, beige, it’s just so – uninteresting.’
‘Yes, well, I must be off. I’ll see you in the week, no doubt.’
‘Not really, I just must get home, brush this out – and do it again properly!’
Standing here I sometimes look over fields broad sweep,
in spring and summer hedges bloom – but now all sleep.
Hush now birds, be still and rest, wake none with your song
The blanket of this season’s mists comforts winter long.
Those who would wake with the dawn – linger in your dreams
The sun is in bed he’ll not wake us with his beams
Sleep he may, a year he’s toiled marking seasons’ run
Satisfied, his rest he takes knowing his work’s well done.
I have to confess, I’d hardly become accustomed to being in 2016, and here it is – or rather there is was – gone. I mean, it had hardly had time to unpack its stuff and put its things away in the drawer we cleared for it, and it is already going through the ironing pile to see if it can find its clean socks. It is thinking that it would be easier if it puts the clean stuff away in its suitcase now, because it won’t be needing those until it gets home.
We have to say, while it has been pleasant company for most of the time – now and again we have found it hard to get along with. It seems to have had a penchant for drama and a need for confrontation that we have found difficult to handle.
You know the sort of thing I mean – going into the kitchen and making itself a pile of sandwiches, when we’ll be having dinner in half an hour or wanting to watch things on the TV that we never watch, and that are on at the same time as programmes we do want to watch and needing the volume up much louder than we usually have it.
I wouldn’t like to say we’re counting the days until it goes, exactly – but it’s not long now, thank goodness.