I was going to post a few days ago: something about the beginning of Lent and a plan to fast from anxiety, but then the earth shifted on its axis and for a while there seemed to be no point in words.
I heard the Japanese ambassador on the radio and he said: ‘We are humbled and awed by the power of nature’, and I wondered when I last heard a leader in the West talk about humility.
I took time to stare in the garden and saw the power of nature that preserves a seedhead through a whole winter of ice and snow, stripping away everything fleshy and leaving a cage of tracery.
Round about that time the frogs returned to our tiny pond for maybe the fourth year in a row and I stopped and forced myself to remember that this adult started life as a tiny speck of black in a blob of jelly.
In England, everything is just bursting out new.
And no one can make sense of any of it, but I learnt here that ‘Japanese culture has long-prized fragility, impermanence, transience’, and that ‘the cherry blossom is the most prized of all expressions of nature because it achieves such a brief perfection before falling carelessly’.
Postscript: If you love books and writing, go here for a genius plan to raise money for Japan.