It is just over a year since Mpira died. I still experience the shock - it was so sudden. I suppose it was this week - I don't remember the exact date, save that it was a Monday, although even that has no particular significance. Why remember the date of loss? Better to remember those many days of gain...of love, of affection, of enjoyment, of laughter.
Anyway, we are experiencing spring in a different way without him. Nearly three weeks ago, a mother duck arrived in the garden, eleven tiny ducklings in tow. The numbers quickly diminished - she would take them on a walk, coming back with one or two less each time (cats? crows? just lost? who knows?) - until a week later there were only four.
But those four have stayed. And grown. They are beginning to look like miniature ducks now.
And because Mpira is not here to harass them, I spend my days gazing out of the window, fascinated as they rush across the lawn, between bird feeder and pond. Tiny rabbits eat daisies, barely hopping aside as I go backwards and forwards to the washing line. Tits, greenfinches, robins, chaffinches and goldfinches cluster around the bird feeder, jostling, maneouvring, LIVING...
And flowers have exploded.