The Village in Springtime.

The Glebe Tree or the Golden Tree


Arguably this is the most beautiful tree in oue village. It's known locally and affectionately as the glebe tree or even the golden tree, although I generally think of it as our personal mallorn. Not that it is ours. Strictly speaking, it's growing on the 'glebe' - the area of land that, of old, was used to support the minister. The old manse - now a private house - is somewhere behind the tree. You can just catch a glimpse of it, with the new manse out of the picture to the right. And every year, at this time, the early leaves on this tree are beautiful beyond belief.


I took my permitted walk around the village today. Sometimes there's so much work to do in the garden that I stay at home, but today I felt the need to get away. It's a beautiful time of year, and I seldom have quite so much time to stand and stare - especially with the place as empty as it was today.

Positives: the verges haven't been cut and they are full of springtime wildflowers: predominantly dandelions that the bees love and cuckoo flower - sometimes called lady's smock. There are birds nesting and singing everywhere, pretty much undisturbed. And the colours are just extraordinary.

Negatives: not many. But passing the deserted primary school, usually buzzing with life, was very sad. And when I came to the little playpark, with the notice saying 'Do not use; closed until further notice,' I had a few moments of real sorrow. There is something desperately sad about empty places that should be populated with kids. There was something, it suddenly struck me, of Chernobyl about it. Without the ash and the pollution of course.

Quite the opposite. There's a clarity about most places here at the moment, and a cleanliness too, that's very welcome. Blessed Bride, goddess of spring, is doing her spring cleaning without much interference from us, for a change. Although of course the farmers are working away as well. Tractors bouncing through the village let you know that somewhere life and work is going on. And a very good thing too!