“Isn’t it lovely?” And so it is. Soft winds. A hint of blossom. Sticky buds starting to uncurl. Everything that little bit lighter and fresher. And you can respond on that level. Yes. Its lovely. There are crocuses of hope. Spring has more than one meaning. This early though…Our light. bright days are the accompaniment to the wild gyrations of the jet stream, the blazing forests of Australia, the melting ice packs of Greenland and Antarctica, the freezing of Texas* and the floods here in Storm Cristophe just last month, which Sir James Bevan, the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, reports came within one centimeter of the tops of flood defences – constructed to Reasonable Worst Case Scenario Standards – that protect 49,000 homes from inundation. (1) Crocuses of hope could well give way to daffodils of despair if we don’t get our act together. Of course, in a conversation with a neighbour, being the Cassandra who is always pointing out the dark cloud that is the condition for the silver lining makes you a prophet of doom that no one wants to listen to, lest it ruin their good mood.
At the supermarket, a young woman pushes her baby buggy steadily down the aisle with one hand, looking sideways at her mobile phone completely absorbed, legs on cruise, navigating by muscle memory; her toddler is a small mirror image, looking to the left at his phone with the same frown of concentration.
Around the end of the Park, the first school crocodile of spring. Teacher striding out briskly at the head without a backward look. Neat little rows in the papal scarlet of the local Catholic primary going in two by two, with barely a need to be shepherded by the TAs at the back. Eighteen of them. And they look liked one class. Quite a lot even before the reckless reopening next week. The “normality” of it coming as a shock.
*“I’ll believe in climate change when Texas freezes over” Senator Ted Cruz.