The Changing Seasons ~ May With Zest Of Lime And Cricket

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Only last week did the lime trees on Wenlock’s Linden Walk show any real signs of coming into leaf. The avenue itself was a faint haze of juicy green. The leaves may be late, but they sum up the sap-filled exuberance of spring.

Another sign of spring around English villages and towns, is the weekend sight of chaps in their whites lingeringly engaged in the friendly cricket match. It’s one of those things, cricket. I scarcely understand the game, but I’m glad someone does. Or to quote the chorus from 10CC’s Dreadlock Holiday  “I don’t like cricket, oh no, I love it”. At least I love the idea of it: a quintessential cultural marker layered with notions of perfect summers that never were.

It conjures ghosts too. The thwack of ball on willow. Resounding cheers at a good catch. An inexplicable sense of something lost. This doubtless explains why many cricketing poems are interwoven with strands of war. Here’s one such from A E Houseman’s A Shropshire Lad cycle, poem XVII. It alludes to young men lost in the Boer War:

Twice a week the winter thorough
Here stood I to keep the goal:
Football then was fighting sorrow
For the young man’s soul.
Now in Maytime to the wicket
Out I march with bat and pad:
See the son of grief at cricket
Trying to be glad.
Try I will; no harm in trying:
Wonder ’tis how little mirth
Keeps the bones of man from lying
On the bed of earth.

*

And now to relieve that sombre note, my May gallery in and around the Linden Field:

 

 

 

Related: Heading for the Light ~ Wenlock’s Linden Walk in Winter

To join in Cardinal Guzman’s The Changing Seasons challenges go HERE

38 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons ~ May With Zest Of Lime And Cricket

  1. I don’t like cricket and could never watch game but it is just as you say and I can conjure the sound. Is Houseman always gloomy? I confess he is a gap in my education!

    1. I think Housman is always gloomy I’m afraid, Gilly. One theory is that he was homosexual and unrequited since he kept falling in love with heterosexual males. V. sad.

  2. Nice interweaving of cricket and nature. Our limes have begun doing it, but only just.

    We used to have very ungentlemanly cricket matches up the river many moons ago: bat in one hand, stubby in the other. A Dutch friend was deeply puzzled by the whole business, and I was nearly lynched when my mind wandered while I was supposed to be scoring. Very different memories from yours!

    1. Notions of rough cricket intrigue, Meg. Also made me think of Trobriand cricket where one entire village played another entire village until the ball got lost in the forest. I have an inkling it replaced head-hunting excursions, but I may have made that up.

  3. Everyone tells us that cricket is the ancestor of baseball. I don’t really see it, but the opening of the American baseball season in April is as clear a marker of spring as the blooming of the trees. More so, because leaves come out at different times in such a big country … but baseball always starts in the beginning of April. The boys of summer are back.

  4. I too love the idea of cricket on the village green, even if the game itself bores the pants off me. Although I once was grabbed to play for a local team back in my youth! It does bring back the smell of new mown grass and lazy summer days. And I’m not sure if it is me and my PC but I cannot scroll through your excellent gallery.

      1. Can you click on an image and then scroll through the gallery? I just get OOPS, page not found. As if the image has been removed.

      2. Ah. I CAN click on the first image as that points to tishfarrell.wordpress.com – I now see that you have changed your site to tishfarrell.com so that might explain why. Not sure how to resolve it though. Upload photos into the new site?

      3. I should read the comments in the other order! So do you have a Pro account? Or a free account? The URL is (or was yesterday) different for some of the images.

      4. Oh, well, I wouldn’t worry about it , obviously not many people actually click on the photos to scroll through the gallery as no-one else has mentioned it!

      5. Some of the photos I can click on. The big one with the old railway line comes up with an Oops though. Can’t see how this has happened. 😦

  5. Never did get into cricket though my parents were mad fans, even went to the test matches. We have a family tradition of a cricket match in the afternoon of Christmas Day, if anyone is still standing.
    Alison

  6. Yes cricket and the balmy summer of England go hand and hand in my memory of a childhood in Yorkshire, surely the county of cricket. Loved your photos and pleased to see the linden trees stirring to life. Maybe a flaw in my memory (it was very long ago) but it always seemed to be sunny and balmy when I think of England in summertime. Making daisy chains and searching for 4 leaf clovers…

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