Blue skies and fluffy clouds overhead, birdsong, avian courtship rites and nest building birds everywhere - the village is opening out and greening up before our eyes as Spencer and I potter about and peer into hedgerows. Spring does not make a quiet entrance this far north - she comes over the hill with an exuberant bound, reaches out with a twiggy hand, and everything bursts into bloom. When we went off to the park a few mornings ago, the first daffodil of the season was blooming in a sheltered, sunny alcove, and we both did a little dance.
How can this week's word be anything except bloom? The word originates in the Middle English blo or blome, meaning to open up and flower lavishly, to glow with health and well-being, to be as sleek and glossy as an otter, as dewy and flushed with sunlight as a garden tulip or an early blooming orchid in a wild and wooded place. There are probable connections (or roots) between bloom and bhel in Proto-Indo-European, the hypothetical common ancestor of all modern European languages - in that ancient, oral and unscribed tongue, bhel means to grow, swell, or unfold, to leaf out or come into flower.
Perhaps a better word for this week would be sex, because that is what springtime's lush colors, alluring fragrances, velvet textures and warbling ballads are about - the Old Wild Mother's madcap dance of exuberance, fertility and fruitfulness. Every species on the planet seems focused on perpetuating its own heady genetic brew, and the collective pleasure in being alive is almost tangible.
Forsaking appointed chores, we poke around in the garden, lurch about in village thickets and contemplate the blue sky for long intervals. It's simply a matter of blooming wherever one happens to be planted. Spencer is already a master of that splendid Zen art, and his silly old mum is working on it.