Stepping Out to In-Betweeness

Today has been one of those pet days which seems to have hopped in from Summer to say ‘hello.’

The garden beckoned and that delicious feeling of being embraced by nature. These lines from W.B. Yeats’ Among School Children kept floating in and out of my head:

O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?

There was such a sense of glimpsing Spring, yet admiration for Winter’s glory. At times, it seemed wrong to disturb nature, especially when she gently closed her curtains on me:

Curtain of Pampas
Curtain of Pampas

Wise and wrinkled textures from Winter were glancing at the enthusiastic shoots of Spring.

The Hydrangea by the Gate
The Hydrangea by the Gate

It seemed right that it would be the climbing hydrangea that was springing forward, wrapping herself around the solid trunk of the Monkey Puzzle Tree:

Climbing Hydrangea
Climbing Hydrangea

The snowdrops that were showing white a week ago were nodding their heads every so gently to assuage my amazement that they could have survived the vicious Storm Rachel that ravaged Ireland a few days ago.


The thorny debate around Aristotle’s theory that Nature abhors a vacuum, that has lain dormant since the dark days came, re-emerged from under the front hedge with a burst of orange. Here lay one of the many buoys that have begged to be brought home from the windswept beaches over the last few months.

Buoy Blossom
Buoy Blossom

The dreamy in-betweenness of today was starkly questioned by the shadow of a tree at sundown as I ran to the shop to get some coal for tonight’s  fire.




Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

17 thoughts on “Stepping Out to In-Betweeness”

  1. You have an amazing eye for detail Jean. Wonderful pictures and observations. It astounds me that spring is starting there in January. The power of the Gulf Stream. You’re at about 52 degrees latitude and Ottawa is about 45 degrees and you’re looking at spring while we’re looking at a meter of snow on the ground and 2 more months of winter. It is really nice to see the greenery and blooms. Indeed Shadowland may be prevalent yet, but the stone on which it sits has softened and green shoots can be seen curling around the edges.

    Great post Jean – boosts the spirits.

    1. Thanks for such a lovely comment, Paul. I’m all too aware that people in different parts of the world are experiencing all sorts of different weathers (and seasons). I reckon we get the best of all worlds here!

  2. Such a poetic soul you have. I’ve heard, and plan to blog in a little bit, my life seems filled with “in a little bits” these days, but I digress, I hear that if one feels unloved they should go out of doors and just listen to the wildlife and the whispering of the leaves in the wind. So much living about us that we just disregard, thanks for pulling my focus back to where it should rest. Life is good. 🙂

  3. No snowdrops here, just plain old snow—although winter this year has been caught in an unusual struggle to keep it all from melting! And I must agree, that last photo is quite “Banksy” 🙂 ♥ ❤

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