Welcome Autumn/Spring

The first day of April.Depending on your orientation,a month of showers “sweet with fruit(“Chaucer,Prologue to Canterbury Tales ) ,heralding the spring or according to Eliot ,”a cruel month breeding lilacs out of the dead land “( Wasteland) His is a gloomier version of spring.

In Australia of course April heralds the approach of winter ,whereas in England it is the beginning of spring .

The expression reaches back to Old English and the belief that the pinch of salt would weaken a witch ,and the punch banish him or her .We still use the expression ,signalling new beginnings on the first day of a new month.

Nevertheless for me the expression also evokes the Punch and Judy shows that delighted the English part of my childhood :

The annual holiday to the Brighton seaside amongst the besandled and often wet English .The walk along the pier and the show was a break from the jam or peanut butter sandwiches on a damp and sunless beach.No sandcastles as no sand ,or not much on Brighton beaches 65years ago !

But I’m rambling -the quote just came into my head as I was thinking about the approach of Autumn here ,very much like the approach of Spring in England,specifically in my birth town of Bath in the South West .

The sun is less strident here this time of the year so that it shares some qualities with the sunshine now showing its face in Bath .Here the plants are gradually reviving and will briefly recover greenery before some of them are touched lightly and then more heavily by the wind and rain as our usually mild winter comes in ( that is we hope, as now with Climate Change weather is as unpredictable as our lives) Meantime in Bath the plants and trees will flower,emerging from the snow and wet and grey of an English winter into Sprin:daffodils and snowdrops ,bluebells scattered in clumps and bursts of colour.Then,hopefully,trees will show summer green ,and different flowers,daisies and marigolds and sweet smelling roses ,the herbs, rosemary and thyme , will blaze into a splendidly warm summer.

We still hope that the seasons will remain roughly the same Despite our knowledge of Climate Change we still hope for a measure of certainty in this time of the C Virus.Let us cling to a belief in an approximation of seasonal change.

Yes ,a small pinch to jolt me ,or maybe I should throw some salt at my witch and then punch her into oblivion.To remember that the world still goes round. To be reminded of the links between my self here in Fremantle ,and the part of my life in Bath ,England .I may also need a gentle punch to wake up and look around ,to breathe in the natural world which is governed still in part by the seasons .And to take in the new beginnings .

April .Here ,Easter here .My birthday April.My mothers death April, same day.Brief autumn here .Longer Spring there:and she told me that the daffodils emerged from the snow the morning after I was born .

The most beautiful time of the year in both my worlds.Plants no longer battling to survive.Still warm enough to swim in the sea.But some of us can still just stand on a sandy or pebbly beach and gaze at a horizon. Relish the space and freedom ,and the brief warmth .

looking out to sea

Horizon through the rocks -actually the ship is waiting outside port Fremantle ,no longer allowed to dock.