PRELUDE TO MAY
May is the fifth month of the year
in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars
and the third of seven months
to have a length of 31 days.
May is the month of Spring
in the Northern Hemisphere and Autumn
in the Southern Hemisphere.
Tuesday 1st May
We have had some days of frost,
and it is still very cold outside.
4th of May
Suddenly our garden is full of birds,
many of them seeking food for their young.
Clusters of pigeons peck at the soft bread
broken for them
while crows fly off with beaks full of bread
for their nestling -
It is heartening to see this
innate kindness in birds and mammals
towards their young.
The trees are almost in full bloom
while the flower-beds are radiant
with colour from cultivated plants and
with what human-beings call weeds.
The dandelion flowers are a brilliant gold in colour
although they are named after their leaves -
which, when translated from the French,
mean the teeth of lions -
which is a good description
even if most of us are not acquainted
with lions in such close proximity !
The weather suddenly changed
some days ago, becoming warm and sunny.
The foxes now appear at daybreak
and munch away at the soft bread,
which they share with the birds.
The birds are feeding their young
and big black crows fill their beaks with food
and fly away.
The whole garden has become
a sheltered area surrounded by trees in full leaf.
We can no longer see the Welsh hills
beyond the colourful background of blossom.
Petals, blown away by the wind,
pattern the grass within our enclosure.
Birds sing before dawn,
reminding me to feed them SOON .....
On Saturday 5th of this month
we received a large order for Mandala Cards
from the Buckfast Abbey Bookshop.
With the patient help of Sister Monica,
after I had cut the cards to their right size,
she prepared them for posting,
placing them in individual envelopes,
each one in a see-through plastic cover.
There are approximately some 350 of them .....
They will be ready for a parcel collection
early next week.
Sister Monica will celebrate
her 90th birthday tomorrow.
Members of her family are due this evening
and they will stay in our guest-house
over the weekend.
The weather has become very warm,
and the dawn chorus is earlier every day.
Sister Monica had a very happy birthday celebration
on Sunday 13th May.
A relation had baked a wonderful cake for her,
which we are all still sharing.
On Wednesday morning, the 16th May,
I learned that my brother had died earlier that very morning.
My sister Ylva phoned from Holland to give me the sad news.
Our brother had fallen backwards while examining
the some radiators
in the family home in Uetersen, Holstein.
When he had not returned to ground level
an hour later his wife Ingrid went to look for him
and found that her beloved husband was dead.
My brother was 80 years of age.
All members of his family are devastated.
Ingrid is undoubtedly suffering the most....
May Klaus-Magnus rest in peace.
Klaus-Magnus and his sister Nora c.1945
The birds are still singing .....
My week in the kitchen ends tomorrow -
which is quite a relief !
I enjoy preparing fresh vegetables
early in the morning, during the night silence.
The vegetables are then ready to be cooked after breakfast.
Now that the mating season is over
the foxes come early in the morning - at about 5.30 a.m..
The magpies - courageous birds -
keep their distance but peck away
at the soft bread, recently broken.
This also reminds me of our
Holy Communion at Mass every day
when we remember those especially
who need our prayer.
Tuesday 22nd May
The Darkness and the Dawn
When Adam and Eve were driven out
of the garden of Eden they wandered
over the face of the earth.
The sun began to set, and they looked with fear
at the lessening of the light,
and felt a horror like death steal over their hearts.
The light of heaven grew paler,
and the wretched ones clasped
each other in an agony of despair.
Then all grew dark.
The luckless ones fell on the earth,
silent, and thought God had withdrawn
from them the light for ever;
and they spent the night in tears.
But a beam of light began to rise
over the eastern hills, after many hours of darkness,
and the golden sun came back
and dried the tears of Adam and Eve,
and then they cried out with joy and said,
Heaviness may endure for a night,
but joy cometh in the morning;
this is a law God hath laid upon Nature.
From the Talmund
The dawn chorus begins very early in the morning now.
Having dressed, and after feeding cat Brunie,
I hasten downstairs
to break bread for the birds.
A solitary herring - gull floats down from the sky
to peck at the scraps left by the cat called Cornflake.
( He was given that name because
his fur is the colour of a golden breakfast cereal ....)
The weather today is very warm but overcast.
Today Dave our gardener was again
accompanied by his friend - also called Dave -
and they worked steadily in the garden all morning.
Our one acre of land needs much attention
this time of year.
Both Daves seem to enjoy working out of doors.
A recently discovered fragment
of old wallpaper - a herald of summer.