A vanished April

I’ve always had a sense of the rhythms of the different days of the week – a kind of synaesthesia where Monday smells of laundry on the line, Saturday has a concrete and iron heaviness and Wednesday moves like a see-saw. Friday brings release, a hangover from years of nine-to-five or the teaching week, even though I haven’t worked in that pattern for over a decade.

Sundays are bright with bells and have something of the characteristics of these tulips, photographed a couple of days ago in gardens across Canterbury. A friend gifted a bag each to seven of us to celebrate her 50th earlier this year. They are flowering for the first time, full of light.

But for me, Good Friday has always been sombre. In Canterbury, I’d would usually attend the three hour vigil in the cathedral. Today, instead, I’ve decided to spend three hours in the garden tackling, appropriately, some of the brambles and the thicket of thorns.

Here is a poem that captures Good Friday, by Welsh poet and visionary, R.S. Thomas, The Coming. (Scroll down past the ads)

It’s a poem that stuns me on every reading. This year, the line ‘a vanished April’ leaps out especially. April 2020 is a month characterised by vanishing.

And yet, there’s hope of light to come. Yesterday I photographed my 89-year old mum outside her block of flats, entranced by the pattern made by the shadows of still-bare branches, and unaccountably, a rainbow crept into the shot, like a kind of faith.