I search for signs of Spring from the first of January. But it can’t be hurried. And because it arrives slowly, it’s all the more reviving.
The light glinting off a crowd of snowdrops under the hawthorn hedge flashes a signal of hope, like kids bouncing sun light off a shard of mirror and on top of the hedge a blue-grey dunnock throws back its head and pours out its sweet scratchy song. I take my tea and go into the garden, bending low to the soil to look for more signs. Little spears of crocus flowers thrust up through soggy soil, tiny primrose petals are ready to ping open, celandine leaves are glossy and polished ready for the Spring Show.
Now it’s March and daffodils wave as I tread the earth lightly on my way home from Dru Yoga at Theatre Clwyd. The rhubarb’s showing tantalizing glimpses of ruby red stalks. I’ve seen skinny lambs, acid yellow primroses,
heard my blackbird sing under the darkening sky and a song thrush in his usual tree belt out his aria as I pass each morning.
I’ve done some great ‘slow’ things whilst waiting for spring. I spent a Saturday with North East Wales Wildlife in Rhydymwyn, furtling about in mouldy barn owl pellets looking for the remains of harvest mice. I learned how to recognise a vole's skull from a shrew's and became adept at telling species apart by removing their molars. Soon I was calling out, ‘field vole, bank vole, common shrew,’ like I’d been doing it for years! No harvest mice but it certainly beat doing the weekly shop.At Theatre Clwyd, I watched a spell-binding production of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood, where I heard ‘the dew falling,’ and ‘the sleep of birds.’
Last week, back at the Theatre, I experienced a ‘Picnic Play.’ In the Clwyd Room we watched the cast of Under Milk Wood read Tom Stoppard’s ‘Inspector Hound,’ whilst we munched sandwiches and slurped tea. We could’ve sat at the feet of the cast on the cushions and blankets provided. A few did, but most laid their food out on tables, jars of mustard and sandwiches wrapped in rustling tin foil. It was great fun. Their next picnic play is on March 21st.