But before I set off, here are a few words playing in my head. I've just spent a lovely weekend with old (as in we are long- term) school friends. We spent a lot of time in the garden, and one of them mentioned an arbutus. Immediately I am back at school singing in my head the old folk song
My love's an arbutus
By the borders of Lene,
So slender and shapely
In her girdle of green.
And I measure the pleasure
Of her eye's sapphire sheen
By the blue skies that sparkle
Through the soft branching screen
Then there are the seasons: We've just finished April: All in the April evening/April airs are abroad...
We're into May
When the present has latched its postern, behind my tremulous stay
And the May month flaps its glad green leaves, like wings...
It's as if I carry with a kind of repository of the marvellous words that have mattered to me, or that I've learned, or that have struck a chord and the slightest prod can set them alive again.
Or it's a form of madness, one of the two.