Alexander Averin

Friday, 20 March 2009

Vernal Equinox

Dear Diary,

Pastures New
Sir James Guthrie

James Guthrie - Another artist I have discovered (Scottish). I found a little print in a charity shop and now it hangs in my study.

And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
Not shaking the grass.

Ezra Pound

Another Friday has hit me and unfortunately I have not blogged since the last one. Life has been a bit hectic but hopefully I will be able to do a few more posts next week. I am also starting another blog where I am going to stick a few of my photos but it is not up and running yet. I have the photography bug at the moment and M and I are going off on little outings with our cameras, He is an excellent photographer with years of experience but I am new to the game.

The Vernal Equinox or First Day of Spring has arrived and as I log on today I am reminded of this by the Google logo and very attractive it is too.

Not that I need much reminding it is Spring as today is a day full of glory, warm sunshine, hardly any wind but a definite air of optimism in the breeze. Lots of folk outside and doing and the birds too are busy as ever - best of all is the fact that the dippers are nesting under the bridge once more. I have been pottering outside myself, perhaps this is my favourite hobby and I am currently enjoying waking up the garden and planning how I am going to dress her this year. Our daffodils are just coming out; they are flowering far later than most areas as we are so behind up here in the hills. I actually bought a bunch of buds the other day and when they opened up their scent flooded the kitchen. I have never come across such smelly daffodils!

There are plenty of lambs around of course and last weekend I took a few snaps of those at my daughter and SIL’s farm. I just missed one being born but did see Mum cleaning her baby. This warm dry weather at lambing time is a blessing for the farmers.


It's going to be a big day tomorrow rugby-wise and as ever I am to be drawn in two directions as Wales are playing Ireland in Cardiff. I guess I won’t mind who wins really, but whoever loses I will feel for. Perhaps I should hope the best team on the day wins, wouldn’t that be the sensible way of looking at it? And I shall enjoy both anthems before the match.

A few quick blessings?

Singing. As when people combine their voices in an anthem, singing together can be an emotional experience. I was reminded of this one when M and I drove two of the granddaughters back home one dark evening this week - a twenty minute drive over the mountains to their farm. My car radio is de-programmed at the moment so we had to make our own music and some of the time the four of us were all singing different songs. (We are a family of eccentrics!). Then we united and sang a few of the old ones ending with the wonderful compositions from Simon and Garfunkel, a few from the Bridge over Troubled Water album. My girls are lucky in that they have grown up in a musical household as did our children and have been introduced to a lot of the ‘old stuff’ (and they love it too).

A new (American) author
that I was introduced to by my daughter who is reading her for her English degree. Grace Paley. I am hoping to read her Collected Short Stories soon.

The joy of re-discovery..

I have rediscovered one of my own much-loved poetry books Staying Alive, Real Poems for Unreal Times edited by Neil Astley. I heartily recommend it to you as it is crammed chock full of gems. You can open it anywhere and find something special. Here is one where I did just that, the book opened quite by chance at a wonderful poem by an Irish poet born in Cork.

(Oracling is another blessing sometimes).


When all this is over, said the swineherd,
I mean to retire, where
Nobody will have heard about my special skills
And conversation is mainly about the weather.

I intend to learn how to make coffee, at least as well
As the Portuguese lay-sister in the kitchen
And polish the brass fenders everyday.
I want to lie awake at night
Listening to cream crawling to the top of the jug
And the water laying soft in the cistern.

I want to see an orchard where the trees grow in straight lines
And the yellow fox finds shelter between the navy-blue trunks,
Where it gets dark early in summer
And the apple-blossom is allowed to wither on the bough.

Eilean Ni Chuilleanain

Before I go and also on the theme of Ireland I am sorry not to have posted on St Paddy’s Day. So, a little late, here is a little Irish blessing for you all that I have only just discovered.

The Blessing of Light, Rain and Earth

May the blessing of Light be on you
light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
And warm your heart till it glows
Like a great peat fire, so that the stranger
may come and warm himself at it
and also a friend
And may the light shine out of the two eyes of you
Like a candle set in the windows of a house
Bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.

And may the blessing of the Rain be upon you, the soft sweet rain.
May it fall upon your spirit so that all the little flowers may spring up
And shed their sweetness on the air
And may the blessing of the Great Rains be on you
May they beat upon your spirit and wash it fair and clean
And leave there many a shining pool where the blue of heaven shines
And sometimes a star.

And may the blessing of the Earth be upon you, the great round earth
May you ever have a kindly greeting for them you pass
As you're going along the roads
May the earth be soft under you when you rest upon it
Tire at the end of the day
And may it rest easy over you
When at the last you lay out under it
May it rest so lightly over you
That your soul may be out from under it quickly
And up, and off, and on its way to God.

I shall have to sign off now; I have places to go and people to see,

I’d rather be blogging.

See you soon,



willow said...

We are a family of eccentrics, too! ;^)

Loved seeing the baby lambs!

Barbee' said...

What a lovely post. Thank you for sharing the poems.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such a lovely blessing! Thanks for that. I would love to be there to see all the new lambs. Such a delightful sign of the season.

And I'm happy you've discovered Grace Paley. I think you'll like her!

Happy First of Spring to you!!

Frances said...

Cait, as always, your post has caught me up in many thoughts. Thank you.

The photos of the sheep and new lambs do tell me that spring is here. I woke up to see snow flurries here in New York, but by afternoon it was blue sky and no gloves required.

Hoping that you will enjoy Grace Paley. It is always interesting to pursue an author new to us.

Thank you so much for the poetry.

I do look forward to seeing more of your photographs!

(Wish that I were not the sole eccentric in my immediate family, would love company.)


Fire Byrd said...

Reading that blessing made me connect with why I come here. The feeling is like the words in the first part of the blessing. It is a place where I can warm myself before the peat fire for a moment.
Enjoy your day out whoever wins!

Calico Kate said...

Lovely poems and photos Cait. What lovely clean sheep they are. No sheeplets up here yet although the daffodils are gorgeous.
Hope you enjoyed the rugby!

Peggy said...

Ah, the beauty and blessings of Spring! Lovely post, poem and pics!

LittleBrownDog said...

Lovely, Cait - there's always something new to discover in your posts and it's lovely to come across new poets. Hope you enjoyed the rugby - I love the anthems, too - especially the Welsh one. Have slightly mixed feelings about O Flower of Scotland, as my FIL always insists on wearing his kilt when they're playing and singing it lustily at the very top of his voice. Another family of eccentrics here, too, I suspect!

Vee said...

Cait, such a warm and wonderful post filled with all sorts of delights. I loved reading about you and family singing together on your way home. You all sound like lovely eccentrics.

And the Irish blessing is so delightful that I've just read it aloud to my beloved who had never heard it before either.

Thank you for photos of the sheep. Lambing season is spring. In a month or so we'll see the lambs again in the fields. It makes me smile just to imagine it.

martine frampton said...

I love that Ezra Pound poem, it used to be on my wall, thank you for reminding me of it and how little i read poetry these days.
much love Martine

CAMILLA said...

Such a lovely post Cait, everything so beautiful and I adore the Poem, thank you for sharing with us.

Love the pictures of those gorgeous little lambs.


JoeinVegas said...

Happy Springtime! I hope you can fill your garden with flowers.

Margie said...

Happy Equinox Cait. Loved this post. hugs Margie.

ChrisH said...

Hi Cait, what a treat. Looking forwards to seeing the results of your 'pottering' with a camera on your new blog.

Pam said...

A beautiful post Cait. Thank you so much.

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

The last poem particularly was lovely. Thanks for posting it.