Waking this morning to the light filtering in through the curtains and the sound of the birds outside, I could feel the shift in the season almost before I opened my eyes. As I boiled the kettle and rattled the rats’ cages to drop off their breakfast (all waking with an excited start to grab weetabix cubes and carry them off to their four preferred eating corners), the sense of spring and a change in the air filled the house.

Out in the garden, the snowdrops lightly peppered the ground just as they had yesterday, but they stood in altered surroundings somehow, the sunlight playing with their shadows at only 7am and the breeze lighter, full of promise of a spring and summer to come.

I love spring and autumn – those seasons of change and a spiralling cascade of auburn leaves or cherry blossom towards the new – better than the other longer ones of winter and summer, where we find ourselves settled into mainly light or mainly darkness. They are also both wonderful in their own way, but there is nothing like feeling the winds of change in the air and watching life evolve.

The pony was waiting by his stable door, the last of his four stable mates to go out today, and as we wandered he blinked at strong sunlight and stepped into a dryer field, the grass to mud ratio now beginning to turn in our favour.

One of my favourite parts of the day, full of calm and the space to enjoy my surroundings, is the drive to work. This morning – with crocuses and the first few daffodils lining the roadsides, the jagged hills above me glinting in the sunshine and still patchy with snow – it was more beautiful than ever.

Earlier, out in my short sleeves with my coffee cup, packing the car to start another working week, the sun warm so early; I had been surprised to still need to use the last of the kettle’s warmth to slick a thin but persistent layer of ice from the windscreen – winter still hanging around, in its annual tug-of-war with spring.

Yet today, it is clear it is finally loosing its grip; and with the blue skies, the warmth in the air and the birds singing new songs, we are on the cusp of another spring-time at last. 


Those March Days 

This weekend brought with it the official start of spring, and after a winter more full of mud and rain in our little neck of the woods than enchanting frozen lakes and snowdrifts, a change in the weather – usually one I meet with mixed feelings, loving so much the cosiness and wrapped-up loveliness of winter days as well as the first warming rays of sun – was more than welcome.

Saturday dawned with light filtering in the curtains and found me out for my first run of 2016, followed closely by a late morning hack on a happy Charmer, out with our friends clopping along country lanes, watching the sun sparkle on the sea, deer graze in their usual field; and enjoying a full pelt canter for home, the boys snorting as dust flew out behind them.

Back at the farm, it is such a relief to see the fields dry up and to walk freely and happily across the ground, waterproof trousers retired for another year.

Sunday was due to be the “first day of Spring” and as I stepped out the back with my morning coffee, my first daffodil was open to greet me.

She was alone in the morning but followed closely along by the end of the day by several more, turning up right on cue as though they’d planned it.

Spent some time spring cleaning on Sunday afternoon – including a spruce up for the boys and Rosie in their cages, the boys, as ever, excited by the new arrangement to explore while Rosie, as ever, infuriated by the insult to her organising system that is a cage clean-out!

The last few days have been dominated mainly by sunshine, and the world seems to have awakened to it – the garden full of bumble bees and butterflies and the garden birds singing happily.

On Sunday night we took a walk along the beach just as night fell, walking among the sandcastles, love hearts and initials in the sand that belied a busy day here, now so quiet as the light faded and a coolness still lingered in the air.

This beautiful phrase is never more true than in the first days of Spring-time, when summer wrestles the world free of winter’s grip and everything around us brightens in fits and starts.

The days are tumultuous but so beautiful in all their stages and moments, and it is wonderful to find so many chances to turn our faces to the sun. I brought Charmer in last night in 8pm darkness, winter still with us in the shade, but put him out this morning in a field ablaze with summertime blues, running rabbits and new grass coming through. Enjoying so very much these first glimpses and looking forward to much to more to come.