Spring is sprung
The grass is rizz…
I wonder where the birdies is?
Every spring time I think of this little poem; it takes me right back to when I was nineteen and working at the Post Office in a small town two miles from the rural village in Suffolk where I lived.
A man called Reg worked there part-time as the office cleaner to earn a little extra cash in his retirement years. He had seen many years of active service during the Second World War and had that lean, sinewy strength of a man who had laboured all his life and who was fit as a fiddle despite his pack-a-day smoker’s habit.
I can see him now, leaning on his broom, sleeves rolled up and cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth reciting this silly little poem in his Suffolk accent, grinning from ear to ear! Incidentally, Reg went on to be an important part of my life for many more years, but that is a story for another time.
For now, let’s get back to the birdies! Where are they indeed? Well, they are everywhere it seems for spring has indeed sprung and today, not only did we have some glorious sunshine (hooray!) but my Sweet Robin swooped in for another quick ‘drop-in’, perching himself on my hanging basket right outside my kitchen door!
I couldn’t believe it, his beady little eye peeped right at me and he looked more cocky than ever. Isn’t it funny though that whenever the sun shines my robin shows up?
Alas, my camera was not at the ready, but I did snap him in the tree again. What with this, an abundance of yellow everywhere and the good news that my winter hanging basket is now at last a-bloom with narcissus daffodils after having lain dormant all these bitter, cold months, the evidence is here indeed of a spring in full bloom and so reason enough to be cheerful.
As I write this I think that ten years ago, this very month, I was preparing to leave California with my children after my marriage of twenty-one years had come to a spluttering end.
I have not been back since then.
Soon after I started this blog in January, I felt compelled to write California Calling. Now, in a few short days, my daughter and I will be jetting across the sea back to where it all began so many long years ago.
Before I left America, I took a holiday with my children in San Diego, determined to visit as many places as possible with them before we left. It was wonderful. We explored the Zoo, the Safari Park and Sea World. On the way home we stopped off to visit The Queen Mary in Long Beach and our old haunts in Los Angeles. I still can’t believe I did all the driving!
One evening, back at our hotel in San Diego where we were staying, I was sitting on the patio outside our room enjoying a long, tall ice-drenched Gin & Tonic (what else?) enjoying the stillness and quiet of the moment.
I remember a warm sea breeze picking up as the sun lowered in the Californian sky, yet in the midst of this idyll, I pondered the seriousness of my family’s situation and the harsh reality of all that we would be facing when, in a few short weeks, we would be so far away from all of this, leaving all that we knew and loved in California, to face a new, uncertain future in England.
The deep sense of loss and pain dug deep into my heart despite the calm and peace that surrounded me in that sunset moment.
Then…out of nowhere, a hummingbird, its colours gleaming like a rainbow in a prism, appeared right in front of me at eye level, a mere six inches away from my face. There it hovered, looking right at me. I froze in wonder, daring not even to breathe for fear of scaring it away.
For a few brief seconds, time stood still and there we were, that hummingbird and me, gazing at each other in perfect stillness save the quiet hum of its wings which were as light as lace. I wanted to reach out and touch it but I could not and then it was gone, disappearing into sunset’s whisper.
I have often wondered about that moment and have never forgotten it. I think that hummingbird was sent to give me a message, to tell me to keep looking up and not to look down. To always keep the beauty of life’s colours and warmth in full view ahead, not hidden away in the shadows below.
So now here I am, ten years later, writing this blog and telling you all about it.
Who would have thought it?
We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us. (E M Forster)