Springtime – 18 May 2020

Here is a picture where the year has turned into spring. The weather has improved sufficiently for a woman to be seated outdoors to read a book. A jacket is still needed, a cover for the ground.


The picture is constructed in strips, which open out like a fan from a fixed point one third of the way up on the left. We can see the green grass, the bluebells under the trees, a pink orchard wall, and another area of woodland beyond. The blossom filled branches reach into the blue sky. The gradations of colour, from dark at the bottom to light at the top cause the eyes the raise. The whole picture brings a feeling of optimism and hope. All of this, of course, has happened with the turning of the year, with the natural procession through the seasons.

The picture ‘An orchard in spring’ (1886) is by Claude Monet. An advocate of painting ‘en plein air’, spring afforded the first possibilities for him to be outside.


Today is the beginning of rogation-tide, when the church rejoices in the turning of the seasons, and looks to God to bless the land with fruitfulness.


A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period —
When March is scarcely here

A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.

It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Tree
Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.

Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay —

A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.

Emily Dickinson


O God, who hast placed us as thy children in a world thou hast created for us: Give us thankful hearts as we work and as we pray. We praise thee for the day of light and life, for the night which brings rest and sleep, and for the ordered course of nature, seedtime and harvest, which thou hast given us.

From Rogation Prayer, Methodist