I have just realised that our younger son’s end of term is next Thursday. How did that happen, the whole summer term going past in the blink of an eye? I don’t feel anywhere near ready for the summer holidays yet!
My chronological confusion is, I suspect, largely down to the year getting off to such a late start. It seemed to be winter for ever this year, didn’t it? The Met Office announced that Britain had its coldest spring in fifty years: Easter felt more like winter, and there were still large streaks of snow on the hills when we went up to Kintail on a sunny day at the end of May.
When the temperatures did finally begin to warm up, spring and summer came tumbling in together, two seasons of flowers in a glorious jumble: roses and apple blossom and narcissi and lilac and clematis and speedwell flowering all at once like a mille-fleures tapestry. With bluebells still thick in the woods, a late cherry even now covered in pink blossom and the rhododendrons in full bloom, it would look like May, were it not for the heaviness of the summer trees.
For midsummer is upon us, ready or not. And I must admit that, for the first time in three years, it does feel like it. The past few days have been properly summery, whether sunny and warm or sultry and overcast. In the woods, the lush green leaves hang heavily. Nettles have grown taller than the bluebells now and are rapidly taking over prominence. Beyond the gate, the cow pasture is a shimmer of golden buttercups.
And on the lochan beyond the margin of the woods, the wild swans have at last shared their close-guarded secret: three small cygnets, paddling beside their parents. Every day I glimpse them gaining in confidence on the water.
Come to think of it, I am very glad that my own pair of ducklings will soon be on holiday to enjoy it all with me.
You might enjoy Midsummer’s treasures, written when my younger son was four.