Hope Springs Eternal

I just tossed everything aside today and went out to greet Spring or should I say that she came to greet me?

First stop was what I’ve christened the ‘Primrose Road’ where the view of the fields was greener than green:

Green Green Grass of Home
Green Green Grass of Home

and there they were:

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Sweet Scented Primroses

Out by Fenor Bog, one word on a magnificent woodcarving in the graveyard of Fenor Church caught my eye:

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Hope is something we all need in life and I guess that each and every one of us has a duty to spread as much hope, in even the tiniest ways, to try and ease the way for those who are caught in a quagmire of hopelessness. That quagmire can seize any of us in the blink of an eye.

Nature was certainly playing her part in singing hope for me today. Is any sight more uplifting than clusters of snowdrops …

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and what about the loving scent of hyacinths:

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Hyacinths to Feed the Soul ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 293

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

Yesterday, I bought hyacinth bulbs and, for me, it was the most instinctive and natural thing to be doing at this time of year.

When I got home, I looked under the kitchen sink for the ‘hyacinth bowl’ which has always been a fundamental part of my November life.  There it was, just as it lived under every kitchen sink that my mother ever had.

Hyacinth Bowl
Hyacinth Bowl

It’s a bowl that she inherited from her mother and every year we would plant three hyacinths in it and put it into the the darkest press in the house, ideally one that had no reason to be opened, except to keep the soil from drying out.

I was always desperately impatient to see the the green shoots appear and would steal glimpses in at the bowl when I had the place to myself.

The day the bowl  was taken out into the air was always momentous and and we would watch the buds grow and eventually cast their delicious colour and scent all round the kitchen.

I mentioned a few days ago that November,  for me,  is very much about ‘remembrance,’ in its broadest sense. Hyacinths evoke some of the strongest memories I have of my late mother whose love of nature, and passing on that love, was deeply ingrained in her.

Just to touch that bowl, yet again, makes me smile and think of  how Mother would be warning me not to open the press and give the poor hyacinths a chance! It also makes me think of how it’s not the BIG occasions that seem to draw Mother’s presence to me; rather little rituals that we shared and which were so often associated with planting the seeds of hope and colour.

So, if you haven’t bought your hyacinths yet, take this advice which Mother always quoted as hyacinth-time approached.

“If, of thy mortal goods, thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves
alone to thee are left,
Sell one & from the dole,
Buy Hyacinths to feed the soul”
– Muslihuddin Sadi,
13th Century Persian Poet