Dying people die sometime before spring, if they can. Fierce and implacable, and demanding: spring has that face. The green surge, the endless evening light, the stupor of a curled, private sleep now broken by something strong in the air: all of this makes a claim on the living. It says: If you are going to stay, ready yourself for work. The work of finding a way out of the web of life is work enough for dying people. The work of the living is to obey, to stir, to rise up again.

Deciding to live is not always an obvious, automatic thing, not a reflex. The flat screen news brings you new disasters and ending of all kinds, encouragement to the addicts of the end times. Then, the open window brings you something like a breath, a rumour that something old might be new again, a memory of warmth. Somewhere in there, you have to decide. You decide.

All blessing on the hard stirrings of your life, on the unlikely green now upon us, on the corner of the world you find yourself bound to, on its need of your willingness to continue. In the last few days geese have traced their way down the river in front of our farm. Early this morning a few of them found long circles of rippling life in the quickening current, sorted and settled their feathers, and sang out what I hope was their prayer to the dappled light, because they could. Because of that, we continue. May you continue.

Stephen Jenkinson