Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Favourite words.

I have several favourite words that are with me always - words like honeysuckle, friendship, love; but some words I love come and go with the seasons. Today of all days, the day of the Spring Equinox, when day and night are of equal length, my favourite word has to be 'vernal'. What wonderful, green imagery it conjures up.

And how our forefathers must have rejoiced in it - the day when officially Spring has begun. Does anyone know exactly when we knew this to be so? The day when greening up is set to begin; when, however chilly it is we know that warmer weather is only a puff of wind away. I might not know when we humans first knew this to be so but I am jolly sure that the birds have always known. Blackbirds are scratching in our front lawn, which the farmer has mown this morning. The birds are coming up with beakfuls of moss to line their nests - they are not slow to get started on the great breeding game.

Furthermore, the sheep are getting really itchy feet. Bother this lowland grass - we want to be back on the fells - back where the sun shines and the wind blows and the air is free for all of us.
This is all very well, but did they really need to knock down this fence in their agility trials?
Not much in the way of thanks to the farmer for a Winter of food and comfort is it.

We meet them when we are out on our walk. They are torn between coming towards us to see if we have any sheep nuts or hay for them to eat, and running away from a dog. Tess finds something = maybe a nest of baby rabbits - in the wall and barks madly. That decides it - all the sheep turn tail and run into the next field. Any day now they will be going home. And not a moment too soon says the farmer as he sets out once again on his tractor with his hammer and a bag of nails.


John Gray said...

my favourite word is the name Gerald Durrell's brother Larry named the family boat

Heather said...

A farmer's work is never done! I didn't realise that sheep could be so destructive.
Spring is my favourite time of year, there is so much to look forward to.
Celebrating the Equinoxes and Solstices might have begun way back in the Stone Age or even earlier, long before Christianity was brought to Britain, and pagans still celebrate them.

Tom Stephenson said...

The last time I mentioned my favourite words, Molly threatened to block me from her site, and never look at me again. Got to be careful.

Hildred and Charles said...

Such a nice post, the combination of favourite words, the equinox and all those lively sheep. Vernal is so descriptive of the season, - verdant, vibrant, vital, verges, vert. We had a little snow flurry this afternoon, but the violets that keep the peonies company are starting to bloom....

Titus said...

Lovely post Weaver, and I am so very fond of sheep!

Certainly the Sumerians knew the equinoxes, so that's 5,000 years ago. When it comes to prehistory it's hard to find concrete evidence. It probably became really relevant once the agrarian revolution happened, with the vernal equinox becoming important in deciding the 'planting' day (the Sumerians factored in the moon too). So that takes us back 10,000 years.
Before that, would it be relevant to hunter gatherers? Undoubtedly they would have watched the skies...

Cloudia said...

the cauldron of Spring bubbles!

Warm Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

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Pondside said...

I liked this post - a lot!...it's a peek at the spring we're not having. Today it snowed, hailed and rained and it was very, very cold!
I love the word Hibiscus - it conjures up thoughts of warmth and sunshine!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I shall immediately add John's favourite word to my list and use it on every available opportunity.

Thank you for joining in.

Gerry Snape said...

great post Pat...good old spring..coming every year! cheers us up no end. And gets the blood racing around my fuggy brain again!!

H said...

So many words to choose from. Where do I begin?

My favourite word has to be something like 'moorland', 'summit' or 'crag' - all of which suggest a good day out somewhere wild and beautiful.