Saturday, 5 June 2010
Tillypronie in June
A brief visit to Aberdeenshire, where sunshine is broken by rain showers, and a mysterious thunderstorm this afternoon, when the skies were alive with a strange light. Afterwards a mist arose from the ground, and a cloud in the shape of a hare scudded above, then dissolved.
Last time I was here it was Easter, and the snow was still lodged in thick icy drifts; the azaleas were broken-limbed, pine trees cracking and creaking, their branches collapsing with great sighs. But two months on, the garden at Tillypronie has emerged again, just in time for tomorrow's opening. The bluebells are flowering, a month later than those further south; bees bumble in the fresh growth of heather; azaleas and rhododendrons blossoming in a sudden burst, their scent drifting across the lawn.
Oh, how lovely is June; this great rush forward, when the days are lengthening, and even at midnight, there is light at the edge of the sky.
In the morning I must return to London, but tonight I am here, where the lapwings fly.
Which is as good a reason as any to read this poem, Two Pewits, by Edward Thomas:
Under the after-sunset sky
Two pewits sport and cry,
More white than is the moon on high
Riding the dark surge silently;
More black than earth. Their cry
Is the one sound under the sky.
They alone move, now low, now high,
And merrily they cry
To the mischievous Spring sky,
Plunging earthward, tossing high,
Over the ghost who wonders why
So merrily they cry and fly,
Nor choose 'twixt earth and sky,
While the moon's quarter silently
Rides, and earth rests as silently.