Spring is officially here, the clocks have gone forward one hour, British Summertime has arrived but the sun has decided to give us a miss today, although I think he is shining forth further down the country.
None of this matters to the wildlife. In the holly hedge we have just seen a long tailed tit with a beak full of nesting material; in the fields the call of the curlew is everywhere; on the beck - oh joy of joys - the marsh marigolds are out. The farmer climbed the barbed wire fence into the plantain to take these two photographs for me. The marsh marigold/kingcup/ water blob is my favourite of all the flowers of Spring (closely followed by the cuckoo flower/milkmaid which follows on in a few weeks).
There comes that day - and it has arrived - when, regardless of the weather at the time, Spring has taken over.
* * * * *
How different it is living in the countryside to living in the town. When I lived in Wolverhampton, where we lived for almost eighteen years, I knew only my immediate neighbours. Here, in rural Yorkshire, although we live well out of the village, we know virtually everyone, either personally or through perhaps one intermediary. Not being out at work all day helps, as does the monthly coffee morning in the village hall.
Some folk hate this life style, saying that you really can't sneeze without the whole village knowing you have got a cold. (I am reminded of Mrs Rachel Lynde in ' Anne of Green Gables ', who sat at her window all day knitting dishcloths and not missing a thing.
On the other hand, there are many times when this 'closeness' is so important.
A long-standing member of the village community has passed away this week and within a day or so everyone knew, everyone will be passing on their sympathy to the grieving widow, giving her their support and letting her know that we care. That is what village life is all about.
When I was widowed, after only three years of living in the village, in 1991, someone did the washing of the sheets during the last few weeks when I nursed my husband at home, someone else popped round with a home-baked cake, a neighbouring farmer would call with sticks chopped ready to light the fire. That support was what kept me going over a difficult time.
There is a support system, albeit informal, in villages and I for one am really pleased to be part of such a community.
* * * * * * *