Spring-board

I got an intriguing present for my birthday in April. It was bought from Muji by my sister Susan – famed for her excellent present-buying skills.

It looked like this when I first unwrapped it – 3 cm square and very light in my hand:

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Here’s what happened when I cut into the plastic wrapper:

DRUMROLL …

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… tah-dah! 

It was a darling gift, and now it has become the centre piece for this blog post, purely because of the way it emerged, swiftly, triumphantly, from being under great compression, expanding outward into airy softness. It reflected the bursting, bubbling, bounding energy of spring that has been vibrating through this valley lately …

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… as white daffodil buds break open …

… and daisies and primroses wake, wave and shout …

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… and in the lane, silver-green edges out from behind scrub and yellowed grass …

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… and in the fields – oh, yes, there they all are again – those lambs! No less precious in this fourth year of our being here to watch their emergence. They leap against gravity, race about madly and get tangled up with each other, and then fall into an afternoon stupor brought on by just too much joy; the small, motionless puddles of white, charcoal and black fluff lying on the grass turn these sunny fields into nurseries at nap-time.

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And what is the writing message from all this activity and mayhem in the world?

Well, I know I have to keep working steadily on my novel, persevering with precis and revision, but it’s hard not to be distracted, and sometimes you have to go with the flow. I think I will have to allow some new ‘spring growth’ in my writing too. Stories or poems – short, urgent things. Blog posts, even!

And some spring-cleaning might be in order; I have the urge to sort out all the ideas and photos that are stacked away on my audio recorder and my phone (the audio recordings which I had to SHOUT into my recorder to make them heard against the winds, whilst walking on hard-frozen ruts across winter fields, and the photos taken swiftly before my fingers froze). And all the newspaper clippings and the small scraps of paper with a few words scribbled on them, gathered together in the murk of yellow-lit, indoor afternoons during the darker season.

Ideas can be allowed to lurk and slouch throughout the winter, like the cattle shuffling in circles in the dark barn, but now is the time to open the drawers and let them out into the air and the sun.

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