Spring 2018

At last the cold quiet days of winter have slipped away and the new growth of spring is starting to burgeon all around.  Sauntering along the wide path that leads from the park’s main gate, the air is filled with the fragrance of spring and the sound of bird song.  What welcome could be lovelier than that of the bright yellow flowers of the lesser celandine, nestling at the base of tall trees…

The colour of the blossoms
The colour of the blossomsmust be dyed in that sound –
a warbler’s call
lovelier than everin spring dawn

Saigyo

At one with all that surrounds me and with not a care in the world, I am content to let my feet take me where they will. Every moment something different, it is like the park is reaching out to embrace me and display its new born treasures. Relaxed and at ease, even the people who walk here pass-by with a cheerful hello; the quiet ways of nature bringing peace and contentment to the busy people of this world…

From morning,
perfectly tranquil,
far removed from
the world’s turmoil –
I am one with the spring mist.

Rengetsu

Wandering across the White Bridge with the usual gang of ducks patrolling the river below, I go up the path and past the mansion house to where the tall trees of the pine wood invites me to visit.

Here I have gathered flakes of scots pine bark to use as bookmarks, explored hidden soft pine needle covered paths or, tranquil and peaceful, just sat awhile amongst spring’s new growth. But now on this spring morning, because of what I encounter here, a sense of sorrow enters my soul.  With each step increasingly, the wood becomes more neglected and uninviting.  Its soft pine paths are ether gone or have been churned into mud,  the undergrowth has choked wild woodland flowers and, over by the small bridge, where only a few short years ago beautiful pink and white rhododendrons would be getting ready to bloom, nothing remains other than a mire of grimy sludge.  In this damaged and uncared for place, on this beautiful morning, the joys of spring have been replaced by an inescapable sense of melancholy… 

Cold, uncaring
modern world –
lost the sacred places.

Each year our park, this haven of quiet in a busy world, brings the beauty of spring to all who wander here, but we should take care to tread lightly, along its meandering paths.