The first Swifts arrived around our house this week…always a happy time. With their joyous screams and soaring aerial acrobatics they evoke in Andrew and I a contented anticipation of long summer evenings and hazy summer days.
Since becoming pregnant and having a baby the changing seasons and all that they bring have resonated with me so much more than they ever have done before. I’m wondering if I have managed to enter into the horticultural time of baby land…
Andrew and I talked about this a lot before having LJ. We first came across it in one of the books we turned to for support in preparing for the birth…Mindful Birthing by Nancy Bardacke. The concept is, roughly(!), that we live in industrial time with schedules and external demands on our daily and nightly patterns. A baby isn’t yet entrenched in this world of routine so everything about pregnancy and life with a newborn is set to the rhythm of biological needs and primitive demands…the baby lives on horticultural time and therefore a parent is at a great advantage if they can accept and be on horticultural time too!
I don’t know really whether I have successfully done this…actually having a baby has made me realise how much I like routine and knowing what to expect each day and night. But I think having a baby has also forced me to accept that this can’t always be the case in life and that’s ok too. I certainly enjoy the pace of a toddler…the slow walking, the frequent stopping, the sudden burst of energy to rush to a stone, a daisy, a puddle.
So maybe I’ve unlocked my inner toddler and with it a curiosity and enchantment with the natural world. Or maybe in the disorderly world of pregnancy and baby-rearing I have taken comfort in the predictable routine of the turning of the seasons. Or perhaps I have just spent less time at a desk and more time playing outside.
Whatever the reason, we are looking at another season’s change. The returning Swifts are our farewell to spring. And what a glorious spring it has been!
when faces called flowers float out of the ground….
E. E. Cummings
when faces called flowers float out of the ground
and breathing is wishing and wishing is having-
but keeping is downward and doubting and never
-it’s april(yes,april;my darling)it’s spring!
yes the pretty birds frolic as spry as can fly
yes the little fish gambol as glad as can be
(yes the mountains are dancing together)
when every leaf opens without any sound
and wishing is having and having is giving-
but keeping is doting and nothing and nonsense
-alive;we’re alive,dear:it’s(kiss me now)spring!
now the pretty birds hover so she and so he
now the little fish quiver so you and so i
now the mountains are dancing, the mountains)
when more than was lost has been found has been found
and having is giving and giving is living-
but keeping is darkness and winter and cringing
-it’s spring(all our night becomes day)o,it’s spring!
all the pretty birds dive to the heart of the sky
all the little fish climb through the mind of the sea
all the mountains are dancing;are dancing)