The air is fragrant with the fresh green scent of mown grass, the trees are blooming with acid bright leaves and the sky is a rich vibrant blue. As I walk through the park the brook glints with diamond flashes of light, ripples on the surface lit like snaking trails of jewels, the surface dappled with the shadows of branches grown heavy with their springtime finery. The careworn, drab garb of winter is cast off in favour of a fecund display of rebirth and growth.
Daisies dot the vivid green grass, little spots of white beauty showing off their widespread petals, daffodils bob their yellow heads, dancing in the breeze on their elegant stems. Beneath the trees indigo violets peek coyly from the deep green undergrowth, while multicoloured patches of crocuses dazzle in the sunlight. Majestic chestnut trees froth with overblown white blossom like a bride dressed up for a spring wedding.
Pristine springtime sees the world washed fresh and bright, the mud patches and bare branches of winter a memory, the dusty burnt brown lawns and heat of the summer a promise of the future.
Before I had children I never much cared for spring, I always loved autumn the best, but all that has changed as after a winter of keeping the boys cooped up inside a stuffy and increasingly oppressive house, it is a joy to greet the first new shoots of spring by flinging the door open and and the children out. This weekend was the first they spent playing in the garden. The twins rolling around in a homemade ball pool, giggling and juggling the plastic spheres, the boys leapt around on the trampoline, sought new stick weapons and harassed innocent insect life with their overenthusiastic curiosity.
We cleared out the chaos that was our garden shed and unearthed a plastic cornucopia of old paddling pools, buckets and spades, beachballs and lonely, single armbands. As fast as I could throw away punctured inflatables and fractured sand toys, the boys rescued them from the black binbag of doom and declared them precious members of their toy family. Despite this assistance we soon amassed a car full of rubbish for the dump, which my husband was dispatched to dispose of.
We are now the proud possessors of a tidy shed and a winnowed stash of summer toys that I am hoping will see a lot more use than they did last year, when the promised barbecue summer turned into a typical British huddle indoors against the rain summer instead.