“Such a peaceful, windless morning here for my seventieth birthday – the sea is pale blue, and although the field is still brown, it is dotted with daffodils at last.”
- May Sarton (At Seventy)
It’s impossible not to think of spring when the sun hangs around for days on end. Mornings are frosty and the grass still a dull brown covered in road-salt dust, but when the mercury hits nine degrees and there is little need for gloves and hat, you know spring is near. Birds are singing, the sun has brought forth the first delicate snowdrops in a nearby front garden, and the surest sign of all came from my Little Neighbours, who have resumed their chalk masterpieces on the sidewalk by their house.
Soon the crocus will burst out of the earth, followed by daffodils. Not soon enough for a reading I gave this morning, but I wore daffodil-coloured tights in anticipation. I read from Chapter 5, which was inspired by a diary entry of my late grandmother. I never knew her, but I have been entrusted with her 1932 gardening journal. In it are her deeply felt (and beautifully written) thoughts on her garden, including a particularly poignant passage recalling a turning-point in her childhood that involved a vase of daffodils. (The passage is reproduced in Harbour View, in case Dear Reader is wondering.) The reading was well received, as were the yellow tights.
I have several readings lined up in coming weeks, leading up to the Atlantic Book Festival. As one of the authors shortlisted for one of these, I have been invited to read at a few places. Thrilling! Not sure I’ll wear the yellow tights, but I might well read the daffodils passage again.
Meanwhile, I’m hoping the Little Neighbours will leave a colourful masterpiece on my front walkway.