Thursday, May 08, 2008
The weather is balmy, the sun comforting after a cold spring. The sky is brochure-blue. In my garden, last week’s rain and this week’s sunshine combine to send sap shooting through the plants. There’s a visible difference from one day to the next: clumps are sprouting like teenage lads, all legs and elbows. The earth smells damp and warm. The birds are taking their young ones for test flights and teaching them to twitter. The cats watch with interest, basking in the sun.
Standing on the grass – which is lush again even though it was cut only last weekend – I can almost feel the roots creeping through the ground beneath my feet, almost see the stealthy burgeoning all around. I sense that if I turned round quickly I’d catch plants growing: stems stretching, buds plumping busily up, leaves uncurling their fingers, flowers colouring and opening. And weeds boldly rampaging too: their seeds splitting and their little roots and shoots wiggling their weasly ways through the flowerbeds, tangling with the roots of the legitimate occupants of the garden.
Or at any rate I would feel all this, see all this, smell and hear all this if I weren’t composing these words in a stuffy classroom while my unfortunate students practise essay-writing for their exam next week.