Dear Mr Postman .. you must be enjoying your rounds delivering the letters in this wonderful spring weather - do you remember last year? What an amazing change ..
The burgeoning warmth of spring has suddenly just let loose ... we're walking round with smiles on our faces, fewer anoraks or coats, wondering at the magic of nature - all the blossoms are out - great riots of colour, before their leaves follow on, all the spring green shrub and tree foliage is teasing us of fullness to come ... the colours are so amazing, so fresh and hinting at bountiful times ahead here in England.
There's so much happening in the natural world .. the birds are singing and twittering around, some soaring to great heights, some arriving back from distant lands - the cuckoo has already been heard, the swifts have started to arrive (both all the way from Africa) .. perhaps ten days to two weeks earlier than expected. There've been many changes since I was a child .. rare birds, which are now common, and common birds that are harder to find ..... perhaps you've had the same experiences in your lifetime?
The bright yellow forsythia bushes, the delicate pink and white blossom of the flowering cherry - my mother immediately said its latin name - subhirtella - something I didn't know - I had to check (after asking her to spell it!) .. & of course she is correct .. we had one on our lawn when I was growing up. Here in Eastbourne our parking area has 5 or 6 mature cherry trees with wonderful sugar-pink clusters of flowers .. it is magical to see. Last year we had a poster of one of these cherry trees in full bloom put on the ceiling above my mother's bed .. so 'she could dream into it' ...
As I go back and forth the short distance to the hospital as now, or the nursing centre, I watch the green and red leafed growth spread and hide the stalks and branches, the deep pink of the magnolia or the white star shaped magnolia flowers, see the confetti of dropped petals - the deep rosy pink of the camellias, the cherry blossom, the grass becoming covered in daisies and this year a prolific spread of dandelions .. I heard a tale - that spring is really here when your hand can cover ten daisy heads .. that is most definitely so now!
Last year .. was a different story on 13th April 2008 .. we had a dump of snow! I cannot remember anything like it - yes I spent some time in Africa - & yes we had snow in Johannesburg = that was a surprise to all!! .. my mother watched the snow falling and always smiles at the memory of the picture of a bicycle I brought in - she always amazes me.
We had about six inches in an hour and half .. I left home in a blizzard - drove the mile up the hill (top of the Downs) - parked and just watched the snow fall - we couldn't see anything else, it was a white out. In the end I thought this isn't going away .. so out I plodded & swept my car clean of snow .. so I could drive home again: the staff stood in the window laughing & reported my progress to my mother.
We love this time of year and can talk and laugh about all kinds of happenings and remember the years gone by .. and last year the cherry trees in full bloom covered in layers of soft powdery snow .. what memories for us all ... have you had similar experiences?
It is most kind of you, Mr Postman, to bring us this letter - did you manage to deliver your letters in all that snow last year? - I suspect you did, as you are so diligent and we are so grateful ..