Spring is here! Well not officially until 21 March but a walk through Ryde Cemetery on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon says otherwise. There is an abundance of spring flowers: primroses, daffodils, and crocuses being most plentiful. The trees are budding, birds are singing, insects are buzzing and butterflies flit by. Sat on the cemetery bench on such a fine day made it hard to believe just a couple of weeks ago we were experiencing the high winds and what seemed never ending rain leading to flooding in many parts.
At the spring equinox or the first day of spring, days are close to 12 hours long increasing further as the season progresses towards summer. Many flowering plants bloom this time of year, in a long succession sometimes beginning when snow is still on the ground, continuing into early summer. Spring is seen as a time of growth, renewal and of new life (both plant and animal) being born. The term is often also used as a metaphor for the start of better times.
In many cultures spring is celebrated with rites and festivals reinforcing its importance in food production. In European languages, the concept of spring is associated with the sowing of crops. During this time plants, including cultivated ones, begin new growth after the dormant period of winter. Animals are greatly affected, too: they come out of their winter dormancy or hibernation and begin their nesting and reproducing activities. You might see field mice and voles busying themselves in the cemetery, but only when the local cats have all gone home for tea!