I can smell her – the Queen of Spring – even before she arrives. I’m caught unawares: wandering down a rolling path, one morning she is suddenly here... on the breeze. Unmistakable, that musky scent of May’s breath, heavenly and sweet – a narcotic bouquet that intoxicates me, like the fragrance of a lover.
Even the very sight of her lithe and exotic forms excites me – knotted, bent and sculpted into shape by the wind. My Hawthorn Queen may appear in many guises, sometimes her branches flayed out to the sides like furrows in the sky. She is most deservedly the Queen of Spring.
Her presence consumes me. I am aghast! Splashing with unrestrained wild abandon, she, the May Queen, blooms, her blossom cresting over the hedgerows in long, rolling waves, following the rhythm of the Atlantic breakers… She is enigmatic, she is powerful and she is relentless.
She is a shape-shifter, a trickster of seasons. In midwinter she drapes herself in midsummer green with billows of glistening ivy, her crown filled with swaying sun-spiels of its seed heads highlighted in gold; in early spring, her first green buds, so hardly there that they seem to be a trick of the light, are a pale glaze of enchantment, more a refection of melting ice and lichened branches than the promise of green leaves; and here now in May, her triumphant coming out in this delicate spring heralds the hedonistic days of summer, a debutante of Nature, displaying her unique treasure.
I peer into her canopy. I gasp in admiration at tier upon tier of snowy spumes of white blossom, her branches bejewelled with white lace, festooning her in layers of bridal finery.
I have a flash of fellow-feeling, and instantly I receive an invitation to join her in her heavenly royal court… I feel her joy, I feel her zest – I feel her exuberance and her queenly spirit!
How could I resist?
And so I party with her, and I too am coming out in style with panache and finesse, high spirits and celebration in salutation of this bonny day.