Now that we are progressing through March, the Sun is getting higher and, looking out of my study window, I can see that it is now getting higher enough to send its restorative rays into my little courtyard garden that sits at the foot of the ancient earthworks known as Brack Mound.
Soon the whole garden will be bathed in light and by the Summer it becomes gloriously hot with uninterrupted sunlight all day long which heats up the Yorkshire flagstones and turns my little space into the perfect space for relaxing with not many clothes on.
It has been a slow Spring here in Sussex in the United Kingdom with, so far just some brave snowdrops, the winter flowering jasmine, the Helleboris or Easter Rose, two urns of primroses and the first of my golden croci.
Those rays of light that now percolate through the garden are having their effect though and everywhere I look I see Spring rushing to catch up. It is enough though just to see the sun brightening and giving dimensions to spaces that have been a dull grey all winter.
The croci have been long-expected and because they are so late they are, somehow, doubly welcome. Hello croci, don’t rush away just because you arrived late. Here in this terracotta pot, they are the front-runners, heralding the future and, maybe the more dramatic arrival of my favourite bulbs, the tulips.
The sun is bright but the temperature has not got going yet so when I go out there for my tai chi practice, I sympathise with this pioneering bumblebee, who is obviously thinking about brass monkeys’ testicles.
So it is time for Haydn, if you don’t mind me saying so. If you don’t know Joseph Haydn’s great late masterpiece, The Seasons, then it is time to find yourself a copy to download. No composer quite captures this mood of seasonal excitement as the grand old man of classical music. Here is an extract, appropriately enough, from Spring.
The gloom of Winter demonstrates the elemental power of Nature that we can feel today as our plant life pushes, unstoppably to the surface. Winter here is dismissed by the solo singers who lead us to the joyful Spring chorus where Haydn uses the simplest of his folk song like melodies to usher in the season of joyful unfolding bidding us all to come and join in the celebration. I am there already. Simple the tune maybe but the great composer clothes it with all the subtlety and skill that you would expect from the man who practically invented the classical style single-handedly.