My beloved farmer's ashes came home this afternoon. On Sunday his sister, his niece and I will scatter them into the hedgerows of his fields.
The hawthorn blossom is out on the hedges, the new green leaves are just bursting. On the beck the marsh marigolds are flowering - deep yellow - one of his favourite flowers. In the wood the bluebells are out - some blue and some white; he would always come home at lunch time and tell me when they burst into bloom.
On the wires all the swallows are here. He would count them until he saw how many pairs would be nesting in the barns. Two pairs of pied wagtails are back and are pecking in the yard.
He would have noticed all these things - he was a countryman through and through. He would have noticed and then come in and reported it to me.
I just hope that wherever his spirit is - it is seeing all these things just as he has seen them for the last seventy three years. Seeing them and taking simple pleasure in the arrival of another Spring. God bless him.