I’ve solved a problem I’ve mentioned in earlier posts. Why would anyone plant many 100s of acres of ‘cabbages’? And the further afield I went, the more mini prairies of cabbages I found. These fields in other years have grown wheat and barley. But now, with the onset of April, I begin to understand. The crop is not cabbages but oilseed rape.
As the plants got more spindly, yellow flowers began to appear. Hunting about in books and on the internet I found that oilseed rape is one of the brassica family, as is cabbage, so I wasn’t completely mistaken. I’ve only ever seen great fields of yellow in the summer, hence my puzzlement. Perhaps I was getting warm when I said in an earlier post that I thought it might be grown in order to be ploughed in. I see it is used as a ‘break crop’ in just the kind of fields I have described here.
Over those fields tonight, part of a rainbow looped from a dark sky to the distant earth. It was indeed rather cheering and Wordsworth’s poem came to mind : ‘My heart leaps up / when I behold a rainbow in the sky’.
I needed that moment actually, because this morning I learned that a very close friend since my college days 56 years ago, and a friend of all the family, had died overnight.
On the wall of my study there hangs a picture of an old manor house which became a monastery. A rainbow descends to its roof. It was sent to me years ago by the abbot because it was a place one of my daughters loved to visit. My late friend was her Godfather.
As I’ve said before, this blog is – to a large extent – about memory: looking back, making sense, making peace, making whole.