This time last year the world was holding its breath. The streets were empty. The skies were silent. In lockdown the only metre on stage was nature, and nature is never more active than in Spring. There was little to do by watch the slow motion metamorphosis of a pinhead to a suggestion of a bud to a pregnant envelope, to its slow spliting to give a glimpse of colour, then unfurl or crack open, and petals to fill out like butterflies’ wings. I took my magnifying glass into the garden every morning, feeling like David Attenborough. Conditions were perfect for contemplation detached from time.
This time round the world outside is like a bud, peeping open to allow tantalizing glimpse of what’s to come, but nipped, as it were, by unnatural rules that tell it to go no further until authorized. The strain is showing. Sunny afternoons in the park don’t look very locked-down, and are all these cars joining the M4 on essential journeys?
There is a point of no return with opening buds. The petals they sheltered can be blasted, but the urge that opens them is irreversible.