Photo of crocuses

Spring Nature Diary – Spring Equinox 2020

This week has been one of adaptation and transition, of which I will say more in another post, for now I wish to speak about slowing down, becoming still and taking care of ourselves, during what are unprecedented times for a lot of us. Over on twitter, which can be both an overwhelming source of information and a supportive space, I came across the Arts and Humanities Research Council tweet about their Spring Nature Diary and the offering to take part by taking five minutes to observe what is happening on the first official day of spring. I must have spent 25 minutes outside and in that time my world slowed and I breathed a lot more easier. Below I share my experience.

Spring Equinox 2020

On a spring equinox unlike any other I have experienced, I stand outside in my garden and breath. I turn around as I catch the chirp of birds breaking the unusual silence. The warmth of the sun touches my skin and I screw up my eyes as I look towards the sky, patches of blue among the fluffy white clouds. A cool breeze reminds me that I am up north, and it is still March. As I walk around my garden, a space I am likely to become more intimate with over the coming weeks, I appreciate the springy feel of the moss and the crunch of the dead fern leaves in my hand. The fern is left each winter to slowly die back, an offering for the wildlife, soon green fronds will appear and unfurl as they have done since the time of the dinosaurs. I notice the buds on the bushes and the green leaves sprouting from the raspberry canes, we have forgotten to cut back. Bulbs are bursting through the soil, forget-me-nots are waiting to flower, and three mini daffodils stand among the strawberry plants. Then I focus on the glow of the yellow crocuses and the scent of mint as I rub a leaf between my fingers. Among the grass, mosses, forget-me-nots, raspberry shoots and plants we too easily call weeds grow alongside each other, in a garden as much for us, as the rest of nature. In this space, say four metres by six metres, a sanctuary is available to me, where I can soothe myself, breath, and hear the geese and gulls overhead and a tawny owl at night if I am awake in the early hours. Many elements come together here, not just in these five, ten minutes but over time to form an intricate and intimate assemblage where human and other-than-human nature comes together and shares this space and is given a chance to thrive. Spring is not so much a new beginning, but a reminder of the cycles we belong to and which renew each year.

For the Spring Nature Diary, only 150 words can be submitted, below is my submission.

On a spring equinox unlike any other I have experienced; I stand in our garden, listening to the chirp of birds breaking the unusual silence. The warmth of the sun touches my skin and a cool breeze reminds me that I am up north. As I walk around our garden, a space I am likely to become more intimate with over the coming weeks, I appreciate the springy feel of the moss, whilst noticing the green leaves sprouting from the raspberry canes. Bulbs are bursting through the soil, forget-me-nots are waiting to flower, and three mini daffodils stand among the strawberry plants. The glow of the yellow crocuses and the scent of mint brings a smile. Among the grass, mosses, forget-me-nots, raspberry shoots and plants we too easily call weeds grow alongside each other, in a garden as much for us, as the rest of nature.