With the transition from cold to spring warmth and progression into approaching summer it feels like there is a new awakening.

This is undoubtedly true in our garden, we have a pot of tulips that were all growing steadily together until one shot up from the pack like an Apology rocket. The red bud burst into a glorious flower which would open during the warmth of the day and close as the sun sank beneath the trees lining the fence behind our garden.


Last week the wind destroyed the flower and although it still stands proudly erect it is rather alien like in demeanour now. There remains but one solitary pestle gamely holding on to its dignity while the rest are dangling unceremoniously under the head of the flower.

All over out garden buds are pushing up through soil and pushing skyward by the day. I have little idea what they all are or willl look like, my wife has little plastic markers identifying each group but they mean next to nothing to me.

The open doors at work give me the view in the picture at the head of this post, it has been carefully edited to remove all of the surrounding distractions. There is little hint as to the congested reality of the whole picture, with multi level housing, industrial units and the mess that is at ground level.

This is deliberate!

I remember bouncing over the waves of the Atlantic ocean in a catamaran boat while on holiday about 16 years ago. The captain lulled us into a sense of calm as he edged from the gentle harbour waters, but as soon as we rounded the headland he put us into full throttle. The result was ninety minutes of bouncing from wave to wave, I was in misery. I was instructed by a kindly local to focus on the distant horizon to settle my stomach.

This didn’t work.

As we arrived on the near perfect island with the crystal clear waters and friendly locals all I wanted to do was die. We procured some root ginger and lay on the beach for an hour as the water gently lapped at our feet. When all had returned to normality I wanted to fly back, the return leg turned out to be blissfully calm, there was a podcast of dolphins swimming along with us and the horizon was not required or sought.

As the weeks follow this one there will be a steady progression of growing budding and blooming. This will continue throughout the months of summer because my good lady wife has planted a plethora of flowering species. As I finished my lunch today the thick clouds rolled past to reveal a vast open blue expanse which gladden education my heart and made my time outside joyful.

Seeing open doors, open flowers, open smiles that the sun brings is a relief after the closed nature of our country in winter. People are outside instead of huddled round  the TV.

The advice that I was given on that boat was generally helpful if not actually beneficial, our edited photo shows what can achieved mentally by cropping out the noise and mess of life and focusing on moving forward. This is the hard bit, I struggle at times not to be distracted by a million and one thoughts that would halt my recovery.

But this is my thought today, the tulip opens for the sun and closes against the cold. It is equally beautiful in both states but instinctively does what needs done. We usually have a vague notion of what we need to do, the challenge is actually doing it.



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