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A note about the weather and the moon in England

Before I lived in England, I fell for the grey, misty wet, damp, cold northern island complaints about this northern island If it was sunny, well, that was for a few days in the 19th century or perhaps a week in the 13th.

I had lived for some years in western Oregon, a land swept by Pacific winter storms, which often began in October and were still going strong on July 3rd. (Oregon does have lovely summers and gorgeous, flowering, albeit wet, springs.) I expected England's weather to be much like Oregon's, minus the hot summers.

I did not expect English weather to be warm and sunny in summer, though Hardy told me so; misty and mellow and golden in autumn, though Keats had not concealed these facts. I knew winter would be cold, since Shakespeare had repeatedly made that clear, but sunny I did not expect. The other day, a friend in Oregon, besieged by rains, enquired how I was faring, in the hope she would receive some comforting news of deluges.

I was not able to reassure her.

Yesterday morning, working in the garden and growing wet as a soft rain steadily increased, I thought I might have good news for her. A local follower assured me that when it begins to rain in Hampshire, it won't quit. But no.

The moon shone clear last night, and this morning I rose to see the whole lawn shining silvery with frost and sun. I was dazzled by frost and sunlight when I saw two dark figures close to the house - two young bucks with buds for antlers putting their shoulders down and butting heads.

The daffodils swooned under the frost, but they got back to their feet. The day that followed was rapturously beautiful, and tonight, the big, big moon is caught in the branches of the apple tree.

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