Winter Sunflowers

My sunflowers started out as small seeds, teardrops of dark grey streaked with cream. They began to peep through the soil, hardy little shoots, two little green leaves so tiny I could crush them in a heartbeat.

My sunflowers dug their roots into the soil, spreading the delicate little underground branches so they tangled together, and curled around the edges of the plant pot.

My sunflowers began to droop; there was no more space for the roots to spread, so they begged to be placed in fresh soil. I dug holes in my flowerbed for them, in soil I’d prepared weeks before.

In the second week of October, my sunflowers, now fifteen cm tall and developing firm stalks, their leaves long and wide, found a new home in my Westerly flowerbed.

I worry about my sunflowers. I worry I planted them too late. I know they don’t get along very well with Winter, and I worry she will grasp them with her frosty fingers at their most vulnerable stage.

I am not a gardener, you see. I grew up in the desert, all our plants died. We planted carrot tops and garlic and onion bulbs, and the weak, pale shoots that managed to scrape through dry soil was cause for much celebration and excitement for us. Summers back in England were spent fascinated by frondescence. We loved weeds, that is a sure sign, if any, that we were deprived of greenery. I don’t know if I did right by my sunflowers, planting them at the end of August, like I did.

I have planted about thirty tulips and hyacinths, in preparation for spring! Here’s to hoping they explode with colour at their due time!

I used up all my sunflower seeds at the end of summer, and now it is an experiment to see if they will grow.

A race with time, and a bet against the weather.

So far it has been warm. Too warm for October, in fact. Despite ‘storm Ophelia’, Britain has been basking in plenty of sunshine.

I hope that bodes well for my sunflowers.

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Love Letters 29

The trees whisper secret songs through the breeze, but it takes a hard and strong wind to create a true symphony.

Their leaves are each a small instrument, thrumming against each other as the air surges between their branches. Swaying to and fro, back and forth, to and fro, and the thunderous sound of a million cheers filling the air, taking over.

If you close your eyes for just a moment, you will feel like you are flying. Your heart will swell along with the currents, and you will put your head back and let the sound wash over you.

I have always loved that sound. It is a sound that transports you to another world. The voices of the earth and humanity become distant memories in the background, life recedes in the face of this magnificent phenomenon. They are in harmony, and they speak to each other, telling one another things we can never imagine.

The wind does not roar, the trees do, in a deafening welcome.

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Blue Water

Rain is pleasing, when you are warm and snuggly and it is pattering gently on the skylight window, like a thousand imps running amok. Rain is pleasing when it is accompanied by what you just know is bitter wind, because you can hear it, and because the temperature has suddenly dropped so low this week, but you have a nice hot cuppa tea and the kitchen is sparkling clean because you have scrubbed it down and your parents are having their coffee and it’s all comfy.

Rain is pleasing when the grass is thick and green, and the smells of life and earth are wafting in through your window on a summer’s afternoon. Rain is pleasing when you can hear it tapping on leaves, drip dropping, trick trickling. Rain is pleasing as you watch it smattering down, accompanied by low rumbles of gruff, yet friendly thunder, while your thoughts take you to far off lands, and your mind is void of deadlines.

What isn’t pleasing is water dripping over the edge of your boots, sodden socks and puddles that are growing larger and larger. It’s no fun when your clothes are soggy and your feet are cold and damp, and the wetness seems to have seeped through the very walls of your house, making it smell funny.

Rain is lovely, but not for those who have roof leakage, or are homeless. Rain is tough when the water levels rise and flood your home, ruining your comfort zone. Rain is harsh when it flies in through your broken windows and stings your face, and makes your children cry. Rain is cruel, when it soaks you to the bone, and makes you have to leave your destroyed home to seek somewhere safe and dry.

Rain is water, water is life, therefore rain is life, happiness, growth.

It is also death and misery.

Here is an interesting quote relating to rain:

“Maybe love is like rain. Sometimes gentle, sometimes torrential, flooding, eroding, joyful, steady, filling the earth, collecting in underground springs. When it rains, when we love, life grows. ” – Carol Gilligan

What do you think about rain?

 

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Artist credit: Igor Mudrov

Leaving the Green

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Photo credit: Yours truly.

This is a throwback to when it was warmer. I smelled the greenery and grass whenever I opened my windows. When I walked out the main door I was greeted with fields and the blossoming of spring into summer. It was food for the heart, mind and soul.

Now I still have that, and it’s still food; mighty mighty food. The trees may be bare, the fields muddy, but I love it. I can stand on top of my hill and see the meadows rolling away before me, the lake nestled in between cosy looking homes, orange lights twinkling out. It was my special place, and I am leaving so have to make the most of every single one of my last four days here. It’s day two, and I haven’t stepped out of my tiny little attic! Help! I am in a rut!

I don’t want to live in the city again. But I suppose it was inevitable, we aren’t farmers! Although the idea of farming doesn’t sound very distasteful you know.

But here are a few pictures of what it was like back in March.

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