We had New Year at the start of 2017, and Chinese New Year at the end of January; then the new astrological year began on Tuesday with the Spring equinox.
Now today is March 25th – Lady Day – and, apparently, the traditional start of the new legal year.
(Incidentally, it seems that in combination with the lost days caused by the calendar change in 1752, this explains why we have a tax year that starts on April 6th.)
Of course the Lady involved is the Virgin Mary, and today is the Feast of the Annunciation – logical, if you think about it, as it’s nine months until Christmas, the birth of Christ. The top photo is included as it’s a seasonal picture and it also shows one of England’s very many St Mary’s churches.
Lady Day is one of the old quarter days, so it’s a day when rents would be due, and the primroses in the photo reminded me of Edward Thomas’s If I should ever by chance grow rich…, which I wrote about a couple of years ago in the post Clichés and home-comings.
As I said in that post, my mother used to recite it to me and as a child I was sure that the pretty villages and surrounding countryside were all to be given to the younger daughter.
Tomorrow is Mothering Sunday and tonight we change the clocks and lose an hour’s sleep – Spring forward; Fall back. I expect I may revisit all this tomorrow, make some tenuous connections and draw some spurious conclusions.
For the moment, though, I shall settle for posting a poem which seems to suit the slightly nostalgic mood and the subject of mothers.
She has become
an old woman, willing
to accept without demur
an offered seat and smile
when doors are held;
she finds she’s ready at all times
to criticise the young and reminisce
about ‘the Good Old Days’.
She clucks and coos at babies
and their Dads, gossips at bus stops
and in check-out queues. She fears
she has become an old woman
with selective hearing
like her mother, who listens
to the weatherman and hopes
for rain to make the lilacs bloom.
(Perhaps I should point out that it was written in a very different climate where hoping for rain in the springtime made a lot more sense than it does here!)