From my ThoughtBook four years ago, during a hot dry spring:

A song thrush is touring the curved path around our Italian buckthorn Rhamnus alaternus variegata. Muddling through the dessicated beech leaves of one, two, three winters; past the two-aged clumps of purple Allium, around the perennial candytuft Iberis that I put down as a dwarf hedge some twenty years ago, when the Buckthorn was a tiny shrub as yet untrained into the handsome ball that it has become.

We saw the use of this variegated shrub demonstrated in the Dry Garden – nay, the Drought Garden – at Cambridge University Botanic Garden, which had been designed to demonstrate which plants might survive in a garden not irrigated except by rain, as and when, in this area of East Anglia where rainfall is often low. We bought one at a cost from a specialist nursery, and to our surprise it survived magnificently, and has responded to trimming into a sphere that lends a little gravitas and presence to our lolloping, sprawly front garden.

The song thrush, yes, really struggling to find moisture, which is locked about an inch below ground now, So I guess it is falling back onto molluscan morsels, and becomes my friend, so that I won’t have to go a-snailing of an evening.

I won’t anyway: because snail-hunting evenings have to be moist, enticing snails to emerge in quantity from hibernation, devouring choice plants as they go.

And because I won’t be here anyway: I will have risked, whisked, frisked north to Dhruvaloka, my private sanctuary in Sutherland leaving our garden to become even more weedy, wild, and perhaps wonderful-with-bumblebees.

As the thrush chants at Choral Evensong : “Leave it, leave it!” – and that is what I have to do. Leaving it behind for a few weeks or more, and letting go the neurotic semi-control I have wielded over weed-thugs, pests, waifs and strays, and too-hot summer daze.

© Kathy McVittie 16 April 2019

and four years later, this acrostic poem:


rewilding: re-childing

ever gathering up armfuls of springtime hope

wherever the persistent trill-ody spills choices

in the song thrushes' speckledly dawn-dusk voices

look! near (on the cherry in the neighbours' yard);

deep, far and obscure the reply. It is hard

intensively to hear both respondents - and to get the

need to celebrate lest life I forget, the

gleaming dreaming wild-heart childing...

© Kathy McVittie 20 April 2023

This week I wrote ‘rewilding’ in response to Song Thrush voices, and also rediscovered the prose piece I’d written four years ago. There are other Song Thrush mentions here.

I’m linking these to Open Link Night at dVerse, as a trillody of Voice.