The orchestra of spring.

Despite last week’s glorious weather, there is still no sign of the swallows flicking across the sky, although several crushed frogs on the road beside the pond are a brutal reminder of the challenges of migration. Spring’s rush of growth will soon shroud the verges from the shame of all the litter—the cow parsley and the nettle will cover Man’s blushes.

Spring is the season that improves as you get older. With each new vintage, I find myself increasingly excited by green shoots bursting through the soil, the thrill of the new spikes of life surpassing the pleasure I receive from the blooms of summer. I hear the birdsong now, because I’ve stopped to listen to it. No longer are the blackbird and the cooing pigeon the background noise of my childhood, they’re the full-blown orchestra I’ve waited months to hear.

I love the familiar patterns: the celandine in the damp ditches, violets appearing at the top of the drive, the heady scent of the wild garlic in the woods, the bluebells that are still green leaves, but hold a promise of more to come, and the long wait for the cuckoo, whose return from Africa and bewitching call say that, whatever else is happening in the world, Nature is continuing for another year.