As dwellers on the southern edge of the English Lake District, we are very conscious of the seasons. The dawning of what I call ‘the real Spring’ is a feeling rather than an exact date. It is triggered by the sight of a certain shade of green in the local forest’s foliage.

I couldn’t define that green; simply state that it has a ‘voice’ and is quite different to any other green in the whole year. It carries with it a potency and an almost vocal sentiment that ‘the winter was worth it’.

‘through the forest…’

The word ‘rite’ has always fascinated me, as though this short synonym for ‘ritual’ has a degree more natural power.

My annual spring ‘rite’ is a walking and photographic one, but carried out with as much reverence as I would bring to a more formal gathering with ceremonial purpose.

One third of our garden is the line of the old Preston-Kendal canal, created circa 1820. It was bought by the owners of the plot in the 1950s. We’ve landscaped it to give a split-level lawn but, if you know what you’re looking at, the line follows its original course through the few private gardens before burrowing like a mole beneath the farmer’s land before entering the forest, where, ironically, it emerges into the daylight, again…

‘Where it emerges into the daylight, again’

Just me and the Collie along a two mile square: through the forest, down to the river, across a mythical bridge, along the road before going across the river, again. Then a climb up a steep meadow…

‘down to the river…’
Which we cross by a mythical bridge…
Looking towards the sea, two miles that way…

Its a short walk along the southern bank of the River Kent to bring us back to the final leg of our square… where the Hawthorne blossom is in its full bloom.

Where the blossom has sun-kissed presence…

And then we cross the river again, at its deepest point within the gorge.

And cross the final line of tarmac – a poor neighbour, suddenly…

Where Dandelions take take the golden stage…
And one of our favourite oak trees waves us past, its new green soon to be revealed…
And now the moon calls time on my tapping fingers… Goodnight.

©Stephen Tanham 2023

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being. and

14 Comments on “A Rite of Spring Green

  1. Lovely post Steve. Tess (it is Tess isn’t it, and Misty is your cat?) looked like she enjoyed it too. I have 36kg of shepherd on my foot as Hubby has just got back from a morning walk on the beach. As is the norm, and she won’t let us forget, it was out with the hose and playtime on the front lawn to wash off most of the sand. Hopefully we’ll be able to take her to the woods this year and I shall have my camera at the ready.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Indeed, a beautiful round, Steve. You must treasure it. The oaks are quite late in showing, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

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