Our largest flowering cherry tree is later to blossom and later to shed its leaves compared with the other two in our garden. But the frosty nights and colder days now, plus the decreasing number of daylight hours have meant we are offered this glowing, warming display right now.
I have had a poem on my mind for days now. Despite the very, very wintry weather we have been experiencing here since last Sunday night, there are signs everywhere that spring is not far away.
I have noticed, in particular, that the willow tree branches are either turning golden or have a russet gold hue. My father quoted Robert Frost’s powerful poem on this phenomenon around this time of the year, just a few weeks before his death in September 1989.
“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day,
Nothing gold can stay.” Robert Frost.
We read this poem at his memorial service.
But this year it speaks to me doubly as we watch one of our cats require increased supportive care from the vet and under go more tests as we try to determine the cause of his lack of appetite, high inflammation levels and spells of general malaise, despite our love and best efforts at home.
Spring with its vitality and message of new life can be harsh when events in that season tell of the opposite.