Heralds of Springtime
Arriving back from riding and swimming and lunch and a recce, yesterday afternoon I sat in a pleasantly tired stupor in the warmth of the car’s driving seat: In early morning shadows, I had been scraping hard ice of the windscreen while the temperature clung on at 1 degree. By the afternoon, it was positively tropical at ten degrees and the interior of the car was toasty in the slanting, bright sunshine.
In the line of flowers that crowd against the brick wall of our block, I espied a first daffodil bulb opening its petals. Opportunists soaking up sun and warmth, these bulbs are always the first in the locale to flower. And I love daffies.
Strangely, the sight of nodding daffodils, which should have triggered happy feelings, brought out a sort of exhausted grief. Wondering why that should be, I remembered that short sharp season during which I narrated the audio book of Trapped.
It had been a cold, blowing, Spring afternoon, during which I flung myself out of doors to sit balefully under a glowering sky in search of some relief from the pain of recalling, in minute detail, all the things I have written about in my book, all the whys and wherefores. My search was for release, hope and a sense that life could go on before. And I had gone in search of those heralds of springtime, daffodils, symbolising for me warmth, joy and renewal as few other flowers do. I found them in profusion, and was consoled.
Narrating the audio book was not fun – I wore several woollen jumpers to stop my teeth chattering from a chill brought on by adrenaline – as all the peace and solace that can be found in the quiet dignity of the written word was stripped away and laid bare. I recall how, at first, the engineer, a lovely chap who was only doing his job, would ask me to read that passage again, please, because some word was not strictly in line with the text. After the second day, appreciating how challenging the repeats were – how hard it is to give voice to indignities not once, or twice but four times, maybe – he relented on small details, thus probably rescuing me from a bout of insanity. As it was, I did have a short spate of PTSD which I was thankfully able to manage quite well – by dint of knowing to expect it.
I’m grateful that, by signing up to narrate my own book, I got the chance to do something so challenging. And I’m pleased that I did a creditable job. But I do so wish that I still loved daffodils as I used to.
Happy St David’s day.