Opening into May – one of Northumberland’s most glorious months – I am delighted to introduce a new guest piece brought home from the other side of Europe by a talented young writer I have worked with over a number of years. Still only 16, Marcie Winstanley is passionate about words – reading and writing – and committed to what I’m sure will be a lifetime of putting pen to paper (or increasingly fingers to keyboard).
I heard that Marcie had written a short piece while on one of her family’s regular visits to her aunt’s cottage in Mainland Greece, looking out onto the Aegean, where the nearest town is Volos. I was particularly intrigued by the mention of a Judas Tree (Cercis siliquastrum). I had to look up the musmula (Mespilus germanica) – and discovered that it is a mediterranean medlar, a cross between a pear and hawthorn, which sounds delicious. So, enjoy this small taste of a garden in Greece, caught just at the end of April. The photos were taken by Marcie’s sister, Nina (age 14).
On a bee’s hum I hear an echo of things that have been, of memories. And I zoom in as if through a camera’s lens on the present, the sense of now, the moment.
Trees grow, thick and leafy and from here I can see the shades that make up the view that shares itself with me, allows me to capture a fragment of its beauty. I see the spring shoots and tendrils of the vine, fresh and light amongst the weathered brown of its trellis and I see the deep green of the musmula leaves, so close I can almost touch them. The grass is speckled with daisies, white.
The Judas blossoms blush pink and petals drop at intervals onto the stones of the terrace below, joining the violet of the wisteria flowers, tumbling from the growing plant, which pokes its head towards the balcony.
A few light drops of rain begin to fall amongst the leaves, touching their edges like tiny feet, and my gaze wanders towards the sea. The mass of tangled green branches of olives seem to run to its edge, merging with the shimmering grey that matches the clouds. A pale blue haze on the horizon fades and ever changes.