While taking my little dog, Toffee, for her walks this week, I have been thinking about WPC’s cue for my blog ~ ‘Earth’.
It struck me as I wandered across the park and through the woods near my home, just how marvellous the earth is at recovering from what nature, and we humans, subject it to.
We had a short cold spell when the grass was covered in frost and the earth in the woods was as hard as rock underfoot and twisted ankles were a real danger. Then as the long and wet winter dragged on, the grass became waterlogged and sodden, and the woods were a quagmire with mud. But through it all, the snowdrop, crocus and daffodil bulbs survived, and bloomed. When the weather turned milder a few weeks ago, the blackthorn hedgerows were covered in blossom and the daisies started to appear. Then, just in time for Easter, the sun came out and transformed everything.
Suddenly the grass over the park is green and dry and covered in bright yellow dandelions alongside the daisies. In the woods the mud has dried up and carpets of bluebells have miraculously appeared in vast swathes of violet among the weeds, ferns and tree roots. The smell is wonderful and indescribable.
I can see why they are called the fairy flower, they are just so delicate and beautiful and seemingly appear from nowhere. They seem to speak of childhood and innocence.
As I wandered with my puppy, a poem started to form in my mind. Then it struck me that many poets, including Shakespeare, have crafted lovely verse about Bluebells, which I could never match.
So, I will include a couple of my favourites here from the Bronte sisters.
Firstly, a really poignant poem by Anne Bronte who suffered so much sadness in her adult life and died far too young.
A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power.
There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.
Yet I recall not long ago
A bright and sunny day,
‘Twas when I led a toilsome life
So many leagues away;
That day along a sunny road
All carelessly I strayed,
Between two banks where smiling flowers
Their varied hues displayed.
Before me rose a lofty hill,
Behind me lay the sea,
My heart was not so heavy then
As it was wont to be.
Less harassed than at other times
I saw the scene was fair,
And spoke and laughed to those around,
As if I knew no care.
But when I looked upon the bank
My wandering glances fell
Upon a little trembling flower,
A single sweet bluebell.
Whence came that rising in my throat,
That dimness in my eye?
Why did those burning drops distil —
Those bitter feelings rise?
O, that lone flower recalled to me
My happy childhood’s hours
When bluebells seemed like fairy gifts
A prize among the flowers,
Those sunny days of merriment
When heart and soul were free,
And when I dwelt with kindred hearts
That loved and cared for me.
I had not then mid heartless crowds
To spend a thankless life
In seeking after others’ weal
With anxious toil and strife.
‘Sad wanderer, weep those blissful times
That never may return!’
The lovely floweret seemed to say,
And thus it made me mourn.
And one by her sister Emily, who also died tragically young:
The Bluebell is the sweetest flower
That waves in summer air:
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirit’s care.
I was going to write a learned post about Shakespeare and Bluebells but then I thought I could just add this link about the bard’s garden.
Then I thought I could write about the beauty of bluebells but then I realised that I could never match this one by bookishnature
So I think I will just post photos of bluebells from my walks with Toffee instead!