The doors of the summer house and the pages of the summer house journal are open again. I'm sitting and writing in here for the first time this year with the first real days of springtime all around me.
You know the sort of day? - when there is suddenly enough warmth in the sun to cancel out the chill from the breeze, when the birds are suddenly very determined about the song that they sing incessantly...the sort of day when the arrival of frogspawn in the pond thrills and surprises you once
again? (It thrills and surprises Lissie, too - with the result that she now waits for ages for another frog to appear!)
The daffodils are fully open, the birds are trilling enthusiastically in
the bushes right outside the summerhouse - once again, and moreso as
time passes, I feel even more grateful and relieved that I am coming out
of the long, grey tunnel called winter.
I'm sitting here at mid-day, with a cup of tea and a banana sandwich for my lunch, listening to the melodious sound of the Japanese wind chimes, before setting off for class 6 (already!) of my course. It seems strange to be going off to study the Rituals of Death with life bursting forth all around me.
But don't those two apparent contradictions encapsulate everything that we can observe of our time here? - in the midst of life, we are with death - but also, after the darkness of winter, always comes the spring.
The summerhouse is an untidy mess, as always at this time of the year - dirty, algae stained windows, leaves blown in through the missing pane of glass, dust and cobwebs, dead spiders and debris of a winter past.....but it won't take long to clean it up, and then my peace-haven
will be ready for a summer's worth of watching and writing once again.