Summertime began, officially, on March 30th this year. The run up had been quiet, misty. The gardens at Llanerchaeron still felt sleepy during that last week in March, although the National Trust volunteers were busily preparing for Easter, between their jolly tea-breaks around tables splashed decoratively with bunches of daffodis in jam jars.
But at Laugharne, on that final Sunday afternoon of the month, the sun was warm and the Tywi at low tide slugged gently into Carmarthen Bay in slow curling avenues of blue and sandy gold. The car park was full and walkers were small, dark skittles below the castle walls as they shuttled between the village and Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse. There was no sound of sailing boats knocking on a net webbed wall today, but the the same heron priest was there, ankling the water along the shore.
The path around St.John’s Hill was as stunning as ever with fine views back into the Tywi estuary and far out to sea over the MOD saltmarsh with its mesmerising patterns of muddy creeks.Shaded woodland banks were pocked with pennywort, lush in this new spring. Patches of celandine lit up the path, along with the golden saxifrage that filled tiny runnels with pointillist, acidic yellows and greens.
In sunlit spots, alexanders had blasted their way up through the soil, sturdy and confident and smelling of celery whch mixed madly with the coconut aroma from the clumps of gorse on adjacent fields.
There could hardly have been any ‘boskier woods more blithe with spring and bright with birds adorning’ . On St John’s Hill, that day, was the force that through the green fuse drives the flower ; and the force that marked a year’s end at the season’s turning.
How about joining some of the Dylan Tomas centenary events this year? There’s no shortage of options. BBC’s Laugharne Live event on May 2-5 sounds interesting. See bbc.co.uk/dylanthomas