Monday, May 1, 2023

Spring reflections and renewal.

Spring sunshine in the Haute Savoie

If I could choose the manner and place of my last day on earth, I think a high contender would be springtime in the Alps. It’s true that summer is the season of my fondest climbs (limited though they are) and winter can be breathtaking in its majesty. As for the autumn, the reddening of the beech trees by my house are an annual – and joyful - reminder of the turning of the years.

But spring is extra special.

Two weeks ago there was a late snowfall in the Haute Savoie, ironically providing the best skiing of the season, just as the lifts were closing. Yet I didn’t go high; instead, I walked in the foothills, accompanied by the chatter of birdsong, the white noise of the meltwater and the soundtrack in my head, putting the world to rights as usual…

Everywhere, buds were sprouting, the meadows turning from dun to lush; a rogue hyacinth momentarily convincing me an orchid had bloomed. And am I alone in thinking that spring air smells (and tastes) like nothing else – a fragrance that can’t be bottled, but is free for us all to delight in.

Back home in Wales, it’s the season of yellows and creams, of gorse and blackthorn, cowslips and dandelion. But yesterday, as I sat in my garden, an iridescent speck landed on my chair; an Adonis Blue butterfly, and a perfectly formed reminder that soon the flowers in Pembrokeshire's hedgerows will be that colour too. It’s been a tough winter in more ways than one, but there’s no greater tonic than nature’s renewal.

It’s time, I thought, to start looking ahead; to plan for the summer and brighter days. Later, I opened my diary and smiled as its pages filled with possibilities. For this is not my last day on earth, rather, it’s the first of what remains. And while I may no longer have the vigour of youth, I’ve the same lust for life that was awakened in the Alps, almost fifty years ago.

Every year since, it’s spring which reminds me how precious that is.


  1. Spring is indeed the perfect time for thoughts like these.

  2. Should the lust for life leave one, one is finished, nomatter how many more years one might 'live'.

  3. Two places full of joy to be in..what a choice!

  4. Hari OM
    It's very slow on the springing business up here by The Hutch... but I know what you mean and anticipate it, but a few weeks later than down your way! YAM xx

  5. And spring is slow in NE Ohio, too. But over my 80 years I have watched spring slide to the end of May, not the first.

  6. thecontemplativecat here. Spring has many stops and starts here. When we lived in Iowa, there was a blizzard on April 5, snow up to the window sill. Few days later, daffodils were peaking up.

  7. thecontemplativecat here. My lilac bush is blooming. Put that with lavender, and rosemary, and it is amazing.

  8. Spring is indeed lovely and rejuvenating and colourful (the bluebell woods are flowering around us), but F loves autumn for the golden glow, the lush warmth, and yes, the scent that goes with that harvest time of year. There is a kind of quiet to it that would suit her last day on earth better (for her) than the 'up and at 'em' vibrant feel that there is about Spring.

  9. Haute Savoie in springtime certainly sounds appealing. Here in Aberdeen, winter is slowly loosing its grip and the temperatures are crawling up into double digits.
    Cheers, Gail.