Thursday, 7 February 2019

Stat crux dum volvitur orbis

The summer is ending and the fall beginning for Lynda by the river,  while here in England the world is turning, turning into the light.

Everywhere in the garden are signs of new life.


Polyanthus tucked in against the wall out of the wind's way.

The wild daffodils coming into bud —

— and the regular ones rising strong.

The fruit trees and the roses sending out the first signs of new buds —

— I read somewhere they go that red colour as a defence against insect predation while the leaves aren't properly out yet.

The moss and the ferns are as verdant as ever, and this very low-growing mint we have mingled in with the moss.

There's this silvery thing that one of us put in —

And the beautiful hellebores, of course.

The aconites are coming through —

— and the lemon balm just beginning to sprout again.

Even the front door is feeling the call of Spring —

— though it still has a chilly attitude.

Oh, look — just to the left of the front door — the first piece of letter-cutting Hebe ever did. That must be a decade ago!

People stop in the street to look at it, which makes me happy.

The Winter has nearly gone. Just as well. We are using up our firewood very fast!

Meanwhile, indoors, the sunlight falls as clear and sharp as lemon juice, on old projects like this casual scrap of iridescent glass with a snowflake painted on it —

— and new ones like this tabernacle. Tony has made the cross for the top (the original one had got broken off and lost), and now it's all waiting to be painted.

A design is roughed out —

— waiting for customer approval.

Up on the workbench, Our Lady of Grace has had some initial surgery to her layers of accumulated paint —

— but I trust those ill-advised stick-on stars will be going; that's the Earth she's standing on, not the firmament of heaven. And her hands look a bit meaty. Don't worry. She'll be transformed . . . The work goes on . . . Soon I'll be in writing purdah for a book that's under contract to be in for midsummer. By then the snowdrops will be past, the violets that have not yet flowered now will be fading then, and the rose on the fence in full bloom and the cherry fruiting.

It'll be Christmas again before we know it . . .


greta said...

oh, lovely signs of spring! here in the midwest, we have just come through the polar vortex (-27 Fahrenheit. i've no idea what that would be in celsius) now we are having an ice storm and it is treacherous to even poke an exploratory toe out the front door. spring is a long way off here in iowa so thank you for the reminder that it WILL come. eventually.

Pen Wilcock said...

It's like that thing in Habakkuk — "For still the vision awaits its time; it hastens to the end, it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay."



Bean said...

Spring - always blows in with a feeling of hope and possibility -how can one help but smile.

Thank you for sharing,


Pen Wilcock said...



Suzan said...

I love that you are welcoming the very beginning of spring. I am welcoming the later starts to the day and the slightly cooler weather.

The far north of Queensland, my state, is soaking under torrential deluge. They will be glad to see the end of the monsoon. Paradoxically we are very dry.

Pen Wilcock said...

Oh, my goodness — I'd heard about the rain in Queensland, but hadn't realised there was dryness there too! And some of the precious saved water is having to be let go in the north. Heartbreaking.

Anonymous said...

So jealous! It's -11 F here in MN (is that -23.9 C?), (and that's before wind chill!), and we got 6 inches of snow yesterday! But spring will come, eventually, and new things bud. The hardships make them all the more precious for us!

Pen Wilcock said...

Julie B who often comments here is also in Minnesota. She came there years ago from South Carolina — a mega-adjustment! I think this can be the most difficult bit of the year to live through, because the winter seems to have been going on a long time already. But Spring will soon be here, even in Minnesota.

The Rev. Susan Creighton said...

I am duly chastened...for the first time in 15 years I did not get my studded tires on. Global warming seemed to be in charge for November, December, and January here in the Pacific Northwest. February turned cold and snowy...12 degrees Fahrenheit, then snow and ice, and more headed our way all next week. Nothing like the Midwest's polar vortex, but we're sort of wimpy when our usual rain becomes solid! I am, however, deeply grateful for kind neighbors who fetch prescriptions and milk for my coffee! And for your lovely photos of spring flowers.

Lucie said...

I love how all these comments are like a great cycle of change in themselves - one person's winter is another's summer. It just shows we are never stuck, change and hope will happen. I loved your saying from Habakkuk - now I will have to find out what that is!

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello Susan — I'm spending these dark winter evenings enjoying reading your book. My Kindle tells my I'm 80% into it. So much food for thought, and a sparkle of excitement at discovering someone else for whom Solitude, Silence and Simplicity represent the way to go.

Hello Lucie — The Bible quotation is Habakkuk 2.3.

Anonymous said...

The silvery thing--over here we call it Lamb's Ear. A favorite of my we children so long ago.

So lovely to see your spring springing!!


Pen Wilcock said...

Ah! I know Lamb's Ear (Stachys Byzantina). It is like that — same shape, same colour, but not with the spectacular fur. When it flowers I'll post another picture. I can't remember what the flowers are like, now. I *think* they might be the leaves of a Centaurea Montana — trying to think back to last summer! Yes, it is! It's a Cornflower.

Julie B. said...

Here in Duluth another few inches of snow fell yesterday, with more in the forecast. I look forward to the time when our flowers poke through the ground. It's 20 degrees above zero as I write, which feels like a heat wave compared to the thirty below we had several days ago. Truly painful weather, physically and mentally too. I'm excited to learn you're writing another book. I will pray for you, Ember. I am trying to write four sessions for a weekend women's retreat I'm speaking at, and really struggling. I have my framework, but the rest is a hard slog. I must remember to say no next time I'm asked. (If there is a next time.) Ha. xoxo

Pen Wilcock said...

Thank you so much for praying for me, and I will pray for you as you prepare. I'm so glad you are out of the deep freeze! xx

Lynda said...

Technically February is our last month of summer, but you wouldn't have known it this morning. 4C at 6am! Definitely gloves and beanie for my river walk!!

But the cooler weather has helped to dampen down the bushfires that have been raging in the state, and as Suzan says, torrential rain and floods in far north Queensland. Not only devastation in the flooded towns, but after years of drought for farmers, they are now flooded out and 300,000 head of cattle are reported to have perished. Not to mention the wildlife and other domesticated animals...

And just this morning, the report that 1 person has died and others are sick from a flood/soil borne bacterial disease, Melioidosis.

"The times they are a-changin'..."

Pen Wilcock said...

I cannot think what to do except hold them in our prayers and try in our small way to live responsibly in our choices and decisions, right down to the minutiae of daily life.