Driving across the island this morning – I’ve decided this is Cyprus at its most beautiful.
It was just after 7am, warm and sunny with blue skies. The air was fresh like an English summer morning, with the scent of grass and flowers and the promise of a bright day ahead. The grass was glistening with dew and along the roadside there were bright yellow flowers everywhere. At one bend in the road a perfect picture of yellow flowers in the tall green grass sprinkled with scarlet poppies shouted to be noticed. I wanted to stop and take a photograph but airport check in time was calling and you never know what delays could be ahead, so I didn’t risk it.
This is a Middle Eastern spring and very beautiful it is too. We hardly experienced it last year, as the winter had been little more than a blip of cold snap with very little rain. Then almost without warning February and March had slipped into summer. But today the fields are lush and green, the trees are bristling with new leaves and wild flowers of yellow, red and blue lace the roadside at every turn. I’m worried that while I’m away the sun will burn up these colourful blooms and dry out the grass – returning the fields to parched mustard plains of scrub and dust. Please stay spring-like a little longer, just till I get back.
Cyprus has had one of longest and wettest winters for a long time, with piles of snow in the mountains too. Now just as the rain has done its magic and it looks like brightening up properly – I’m off to the UK.
A few hours in the air and this afternoon England feels a lot more brown, but beautiful in its own way. Here the trees are still bare, the sun is hiding behind some clouds, but there are patches of blue sky visible from the windows of the train. It seems like winter hasn’t hung up its coat yet.
I wonder why colours affect us so much? What is it about a blue sky early in the morning that makes us smile and happy to jump out of bed and start the day? Why are green fields more peaceful and relaxing on the eye than sand or desert? We love blue seas, but grey or brown waters look uninviting. There is no denying I like to live my life in colour and it definitely has an affect on how I feel.
Although England won’t offer as many ‘blue sky’ mornings as Cyprus, there are compensations. The sunsets are often spectacular with amazing cloud formations that are simply heavenly. There’s a soft light across the countryside here that we don’t get abroad – the difference between the gentle strokes of a water colour and the deep vivid shimmer of an oil painting. I was touched by nature’s beauty early this morning now I’m being wowed again from the train as the sun gilds a rippling cloud with gold and pink edges and spills its copper beams across the sky.
It really is true – ‘The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.’
Fact: Whether you’re in Cyprus or the UK.
below: spring flowers and blue sky at Salamis on Sunday