In the garden I hear it is noontime. No need to check the clock. The children in the national school two miles away up the hill are playing in the yard during break. Their shouts and screams blow down the valley. A sound older than a hundred years.
The cat pauses in the quiet hum of the springtime landscape. Ditches murmur with water. A newborn calve moans for its mother. A lonesome donkey somewhere up on the edges of the forestry brays. The wood pigeons coo from finally-budding sycamore trees.
Will the sparrow hawks that moved in last summer return? Will the cuckoo be early?
“And when,” I turn to Cicero “will the swallows come back?”
Today the first day of April, the cat and I await spring, eagerly yet patiently.