Fire In My Belly


This time of year always feels extra special to me. It’s not just the warmer weather or the longer days that delight, its the whole period between Imbolc and Beltane that seems to give off an extra sort of buzz. I find it a terrifically exciting time of the year when I feel unusually energetic. My creative heart is torn between the studio, writing, the garden, kitchen and fields. All of those places are spaces that make me want to create, all of them inspire me in different ways. The pull is so strong I find myself being stretched between them all. At the end of each day I am physically exhausted but in the best way, I haven’t slept so well in months.

Cabbage flowers at The Red House

The easiest way to describe this heightened sense of springtime bliss is like one very long, very thrilling orgasm. If I can’t feel alive, vital and ecstatic in the Spring, what hope and inspiration have I to carry me through those short dark days of December and January? If Winter is for hibernating and replenishing our energy, a kind of re charge, then Spring is very definitely the time to bounce back into life, the Duracell Bunny and go full pelt. Every hour of every day has something in it for us to do, to tend to, to fix, to repair, to paint, to plant to grow, to cook. It’s almost constant the work and yet neither of us have been so happy in a long time. We are finally doing what we are meant to do.

I start to feel stirrings, little bursts of creative energy at the end of January around the time of my birthday. It’s like an annual gift from the Universe, a wonderful dose of creativity and energy that then continues right up until the end of May. In this period I am at my most enthusiastic because there’s so much to plan and create and I’ve not yet come up against any set backs. No slugs have yet eaten the vegetables, no dogs have yet crushed the raspberry bushes or ravaged the roses. There’s everything to play for and I love the rush that it gives me.

Through the stable door.
Dandelion leaves and roots.

Over these weeks I start to make plans about what to grow. The fruits and foods, the herbs, the medicines. I read and I read some more and we decide what seeds we need to find and scour the internet for names of plants that I know that my mother used to love to grow. I watch youtube videos on how to do this and that, I ask friends for their advice. The energetic buzz slowly builds up over the following weeks and peaks around now at Ostara, the Spring Equinox. By the end of May I am replete. I have greedily sucked up every tiny little thing that I love about this time of year and tried to capture it in anyway that is possible. My focus and concentration is what keeps me in tune, I’m having to run to keep up with my muse, Mother Nature and I’m so in her thrall , so mesmerised by her beauty, that I often forget to eat; I’m infatuated and in love, pure and simple.

To keep up with my muse I have three notebooks on the go, all bulging with ideas and reems of notes and pictures, diagrams even. I keep voice notes as well as journals, I write long emails to friends, send other friends voice messages. I wake at increasingly anti social hours but my mind can’t stop. The sap is rising and I must make haste and run with it.

Over the years I’ve noticed that my sleep patterns are very much based on the seasons. In February I find myself starting to wake earlier. With the noise outside our bedroom window, It’s not difficult to guess why. In the northern hemisphere, despite whatever bad weather may still be around, birds become decidedly more animated come mid February. All of a sudden, their winter language of calls and cheeps become more animated and much louder. Their love songs gently escalate in both volume and vigour until collectively their ardent songs become caught up in one glorious celestial choir. The sound is mesmerising. How can we not get caught up in their collective joy? They are so happy! So full of life. It never ceases to make my heart soar

And apparently this joy is contagious. The heavenly avian choirs, with their sweet voices that lift and carry on the wind are calling to all the other animals and plants to wake up! Listen! They trill, and sure enough, on the first day that we have enough sunshine that we can peel off a layer of two of clothing, out come the first intrepid butterflies quickly followed by Mr Bumble and Mr Bee . This adorable stripey duo whose greatest pleasure in life is to nose dive noisily into whichever flower or blossom is able to accomodate their ample bulk. After much slurping and busy goings on with their arms and legs, they reverse back out from the flower heads with filthy coats and blissful faces. Oh how I love the sound of a contented bee drunk on pollen, it is simply, perfection.

I could eulogise about this time of the year for hours but now I must get on. There may not yet be ‘ a host of golden daffodils …fluttering and dancing in the breeze’ but i’m reminded that there’s a load of washing that needs pegging out on the line so I had better shake a leg and get on with my day.

Much love to you all ❀️ and there will be more from The Red House very soon, I promise .

3 thoughts on “Fire In My Belly

  1. a beautiful piece of writing to wake up to Lotts. At 6:40am I was going to turn over and pull the duvet a little higher and a little more snugly around my ears but your diary entry has inspired me to roll in the opposite direction, plant my feet on the floor and venture out to see what the world has to offer this fine spring morning.

    Eamon x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What Eamon wrote! Really gorgeous writing, Lottie. I understand the creative urges at this time of year. I want to write for hours and hours. Thank you for sharing your words AND photos. πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’š

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I so loved finding a notice for a new posting in my email. Spring, indeed hastens one’s desire to accomplish almost more than one can handle. You are fortunate to have the land now that you had craved for a number of years. I can well imagine you moving at a hectic pace to plant, weed, and cultivate as you hasten from house to garden and elsewhere to inhale the aroma and beckoning of spring. In the past I had that same desire to accomplish so much but alas old age put a crimp in that plus no longer having a helper to dig holes and help me plant and transplant.

    I loved the bucolic scene of the cows with their calves. It is so peaceful and beautiful. Do you know the breed of the cattle? I see they all have fairly long horns. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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