Morning light from a spring sun: if ever there was a double whammy to experiencing life! I’m like a kid in a toy store; wherever I turn, nature is trying to get my attention, like those smiling carpet salesmen at Istanbul Grand Bazaar. ‘Here, look here, very good!’ The tweeting birds are deafening in their attempt to out sing each other. ‘Let’s make love!’ They have lost all reserve and males are overtly chasing the girls who are not playing very hard to get. It’s bordering on indecent, it’s a delight!
Only the frogs are worse. At least the birds sing in tune. Not the frogs, they just sit there filling their cheeks and burping as loud as they can. Look at my cheeks, they blurt out. You want big tadpoles, lady? Just look at my cheeks! I’m not sure what these un-kissed princesses are thinking right now. I’ve never understood how so much frogspawn can come from their swollen little tummies, but it’s bound to hurt. Fortunately, spring renders stupid.
Trees are at it too. The colours are bordering on obscene.To soften the excess I’m blessed with partial colour blindness so for once I can actually see the trees! For the rest of the year they are a grey-green-brown mess that I can’t tell apart. Don’t even mention the Fall, when the whole world goes ‘Wow’ and ‘Ahhh’ over fictitious colours that have been removed from my brain. I’m sure it’s a hoax.
But in spring, even green leaves are like flowers. Delicate petals that pop out of loaded buds, indifferent to the harsh existence ahead of them. ‘We don’t care’, they sing. ‘We just want to COME OUT!’ There is no stopping them. ‘Slow down’, I urge them. ‘Take your time, life’s too short!’ But no, with untempered abandon they paint the grey skeletons of their ancestry with shades of green I didn’t know existed but that is more likely due to winter induced memory dull than colour blindness.
Even the water of the lake has been taken care of and appears to have been replaced. I don’t know if the local council, or one of the water gods perhaps, actually empties the lake and refills it with fresh water that just melted from the receding snow caps on the nearby mountains, but this lake’s reflection is disturbingly perfect. What is real? What is a reflection? My poor brain is taking a battering today. But I’m with the birds on this: bring it on babe!
An imposing pine tree shuts me up. All those months of darkness, when life receded into the bowels of the earth, those brave pines stood their ground. Their needled coats withstood the sodden cold carrying blankets of snow when the rest of us were sleeping. Now these sapped-up upstarts around them have turned the world into a fair ground without the slightest respect for autumn’s death which is lurking in those very leaves that sing the loudest.
But the most curious creature coveting the charm of spring must be the humans strolling around the lake. The hardcore joggers never left but their sweaty legs are already tanned. Dog walkers no longer urge their canines to do their business and hurry home but stand chatting among the dandelions leaving their packs of poodles waiting patiently at their feet. Granddads and prams are particularly touching but so are the adolescent boys who have actually taken their scooter helmets off to personally face the girl of their dreams. I can’t begin the read her mind but if the strapless top is anything to go by, this spring may be memorable.
A young woman sits on a bench, summer bag packed with books to be read. She pretends to be drafting a paper for university but that’s just part of her enraptured pose. In truth, she’s taking in the wild spectacle of spring and if that may colour her academic prose, all the better.
In a recent post I talked about a walking meditation. The whole point of such a meditation is to let the sounds, sights, smells and feelings take over from the incessant thinking mind and to lose one’s self in the experience of reality.
On a spring day like today, even the bluntest of minds can experience the magic of life. Assuming that mind takes the trouble to go out.
This reminds me of Somerset Maugham sitting behind his wooden desk in his room at the ever expensive Raffles hotel in Singapore, penning timeless prose that has made him one of my literary heroes. But Somerset or Bill or whatever his friends called him, would have had to leave that hotel and its famous bar, to experience life as it really was.
Today, from my plastic veneered desk, imagining Raffles and its bar, I write about the experience of life. How easy it is to write, or at least, to enjoy writing, when the experience of life is crawling at the doorstep. Hold on, someone’s knocking. Wait here, I’ll be back shortly.