It has always seemed to me that, from sometime in May or June, I lose track of time, as if the year has speeded up and summer is over before I’ve had time to enjoy it. Thinking about it, I have a theory.
There always is time to savour the spring, you see, and I think that’s because the changes in nature are so visible. Even in the winter, we are on the lookout for the first aconites and snowdrops, then crocuses, daffodils, tulips, leading on to bluebells. Similarly, all the hedgerow flowers, from blackthorn to hawthorn and buds breaking on plum, cherry and apple trees – there’s always something new to look forward to and enjoy. We watch for the first swallow and house martin, listen for the cuckoo, enjoy watching birds forage for nesting materials and then bustle back and forth with beakfuls of food. We anticipate the first home-grown radishes, asparagus, lettuce, strawberry and tomatoes and every few days is marked by a new event.
Then we get used to it, and there’s not so much to anticipate. And all the trees are in full leaf and, apart from anxiously watching to beat the birds to the cherries on the trees (normally won by the early risers), the countryside and the garden is just there, the latter needing to be watered and weeded. And before we know where we are, it’s mid-July and the year is more than half over and I always feel as if it’s slipped past without me noticing.