A week ago, I awoke on the first morning of May to the dawn chorus. It had been warm overnight, and I remember getting up during the darkness to open the windows. When the dawn chorus began a handful of hours later, the birdsong filled and filled my world. Each morning since began mistily, chilly, with heavy condensation coating the lawns, the pots, the car. But during the long drive to work after the school run, the sun appeared and burned off the morning mists, leaving glorious mornings of pale blue skies and the promise of a lovely day ahead.
Each evening since May began, I've arrived home, sometimes before teatime, sometimes later, and my house is filled with golden sunlight, right through from the west-facing kitchen to the east-facing front door. Warmth and sunshine, birdsong and dancing midges; all these things announce summer is on its way. The explosion of insects coincides with the birds nesting. Over the weekend the doves began their courtships, the sparrows too, and the blackbirds chased each other across the lawns and under the trees. The apple blossom is at its most beautiful and sketchable, and I am unwinding into the long summer months ahead.