On St Valentines Day, I am pretty sure that if one was to calculate the most commonly used words on social media, ‘Love’ would undoubtably be at the top. Of course, love comes in many forms. My gorgeous boyfriend give me a gift this morning of a beautiful necklace; for others maybe love will come in the form of a haphazard pile of buttered toast and cup of tea offered by a small child’s hands, or a gentle smile from a neighbour.
On its simplest level, love can be extended to anything that moves us, softly or powerfully. A view perhaps, a memory, even a scent can stir the heart. I have often been referred to as a ‘Nature-lover’, a term I am happy to embrace. It is true that wildflowers blowing in a summer breeze, the first bumble bee of spring, birdsong in the lull of the evening, or feeling the turning earth beneath me as I sit atop a hill and drink in a view of the landscape, are all things that connect with me on an emotional, heartfelt level.
I once heard the difference between ‘like’ and ‘love’ described in words that go something like this: “If we like a flower, we will pick it and enjoy it. If we love a flower, we will visit it every day to feed it and water it and nurture it to produce its best most beautiful blooms.”
Loving something has an immense power; it gives us the capacity to care for it. There is so much for us to love about this world we live on & in, and it is in such need of our care. Of course, I hear you, we can’t all change/save the world. Sure we can’t, but we can all do something in our own little corner to make things there just a little bit better.
“I, like you, have been saved so many times by a view..” – http://fortheloveof.org.uk/
Got the message? Ok, good! Now, where was I… oh yes, I remember, I was clinging onto yesterday’s sunshine hoping to drag a little bit of it into the rest of the week!
For the fourth day in a row, Amp and I were to be found on the Cutty Garden Allotment. This time however, rather than sleet and chill winds we were basking in the most spring like sunshine to date. A beautiful day of blue skies, warm sun, yellow catkins dangling in hedgerows, and the great tits’ rusty bicycle pump squeaks cutting through pigeon coos and robin song. A heron flew over the house at breakfast time; it is said that they return to their nests by valentines day. Below those hedgerow catkins, the green sticky goose-grass is starting to grow and the arrowheads of wild arum are unfurling, pushing up through the torn and faded old-newspaper leaves and wind-grounded twigs left over from last autumn.
On the plot, there was planting to be done (I will probably tell you all about that later, in another blog post). By lunch time we were feeling the effects of the weekend’s efforts and the need to sit back and appreciate progress so far, and rest legs and backs and muddy hands.
A few months ago, I was given a gift of a collection of bird or small mammal roosting pouches. I still had a few of these to find suitable locations for, along with an old nest box which needed a new home. The nest box is an open fronted style, particularly favoured by robins, but also suitable for wagtails, blackbirds and some other bird species. As a pair of robins have been taking a keen interest in our allotmenting activities recently, I am hopeful that they may take as much interest in this new nesting opportunity!
Here is a short gallery of images of the newly installed pouches and nest box:
I have also added some additional homes for the smaller creatures on the plot: the bees. We shall have to wait until the summer to see if anyone takes up residence in either the solitary bee nesting tubes, or the bumble bee nest flowerpot!