We’ve been hibernating with our sorrow, but nature won’t let us grieve forever | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
Green shoots and spring buds tell us that life goes on, despite the Covid crisis, and that we will know joy again
I’ve been trying to think of songs about spring, but the ones that have come to mind – Nina’s Simone’s I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes), Billie Holiday’s Some Other Spring – are mournful. Perhaps it’s a reflection of my state of mind. January and February were abject, with upwards of 1,000 deaths a day and people hibernating with their sorrow. This absence of a collective grieving process has felt especially British: emotionally stifled, and cut off from one another, we’ve all been like icebergs, stranded at sea.
But there are signs of hope: my sweet peas are germinating. All over the garden, bulbs that I thought had been snaffled by the resident squirrel – who I once caught swinging upside down from the bird feeder – are shooting green arms towards the sky. And the sun actually came out, reminding me of a much happier spring song, the Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun (“Little darling, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter, little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here”). It always makes me think of my dad, who sings it in the shower – his other standard is Jerusalem, a funny choice for a Welshman – and whose version of it deviates so wildly from the original that when I first heard it as George Harrison intended I failed to recognise it as the same piece of music. Soon, I hope to hear him cheerfully murder it again.