For a large number of people in the west, Easter and the story of the resurrection is the most important date in the religious calendar, a time to give thanks, to reflect and to remember. It is spring once more and we all have vivid memories of the first lockdown one year ago. Human beings were quieter, we all seemed to listen and observe more and I have read we caused less vibration of the earth. For many, however, irrelevant of nationality, it heralded a year of anguish and hardship.
At Highclere, the pandemic and lockdown has now absorbed two years of Easters. A year on, irrespective of our beliefs, the need to reflect on death and our belief in the resurrection is more important than ever as we try to help friends and family cope with the fallout from this terrible pandemic. At least, this year, the Easter narrative offers hope and a new start at a time when, through human endeavour, we now have some cause for optimism.
The desire for eternity is hardly new. It has been sought through ancient generations, from the cave paintings celebrating nature thousands of years ago, to the pyramids, cathedrals and tiny chapels of the more modern world. Others have sought some kind of on-going recognition through writing books or plays or music, or through politics and leadership.
The concept of resurrection or the coming back to life after death is also echoed in nature at this time of year, visible in the green shoots of spring and in the increased volume and tempo in nature all around us. From the sharp, green, vibrant shoots unfurling from tree, grass and shrub, to hosts of golden daffodils, spring is transforming the wintery grey trunks and silent landscape into the “blossomed pear-tree in the hedge, … Blossoms and dewdrops – at the bent spray’s edge”. Vivid shards of colour peek out everywhere counterbalanced by the first clouds of blossom.
Suddenly, the mornings have become a much noisier world, full of tiny competing songbirds but what is rather joyous is that, thanks to the still mostly bare branches, you can see the birds balanced high on the branches, “the chaffinch sing on the orchard bough”. In fact, spring time can generally become quite competitive at Highclere: John the Castle Manager is already listening out intently to make sure he is the one to hear the first cuckoo.
I am sure the hens are more rumbunctious now as well and are out and about pecking at the grass or my shoes but by far and away the noisiest part of the farm is the lambing shed, full of the incessant calling of lambs and ewes who no sooner have found each other than they are lost again.
Lambs are such inherently joyful creatures. Playful and full of innocence, it is impossible to feel sad as you watch them racing around the fields, finding endless obstacles to leap over before rushing back to their mothers. They embody the very essence of spring and the wonder of new life, the belief that things can and will get better for all of us.
“It is not more surprising to be born twice than once, everything in nature is resurrection.” Voltaire
Happy Easter from all of us at Highclere.
Lady Carnarvon, with Spring and Nature brings hope. It does wonders for the body and mind. With all good things to come. Cheryl
Thank you – yes it reminds us to “be”
Have a happy and holy Eastertide. We are in Texas, our churches are open and the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter were beautiful and well attended. Texas is bustling as usual and life is returning to normal. After the appalling freeze earlier in the year, it is almost unbelievable to see plants that were frozen below ground suddenly put up a couple of leaves, (no doubt to test the weather!)and for returning birds and small animals. On a gardening site recently people were not ashamed to say they wer enjoying the bright blue flowers of Speedwell ( someone must have brought it from England centuries ago !) and stroking the petals of Dandelions. We were so glad to see the new life springing up through the good earth, that suddenly we realised good times are on the way…and very soon!
Beautiful writing! God bless you this Easter season.
Happy Easter to you and your family.
Happy Easter to you
Thank you for your thoughtful meditation on the Resurrection and renewal of life. All of nature embodies the miracle of rebirth, new beginnings and the renewed and eternal hope that life will improve for us all. The Easter message refreshes our souls and renews our strength and optimism that all things will work together for good. I hope you and the entire Highclere family had a wonderful Easter. Sandra
J’adore et prends beaucoup de plaisir à vous lire merci
Merci -Joyeuses Pâques
Once again we are renewed…
Yes, the beauty of a life redeemed by the shed blood of Christ that we might have eternal life… Happy Resurrection Day!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I so enjoyed your post on Resurrection. We must be thankful for the hope.we have in the life to come and for the life we have in this present world. Browning’s line about the chaffinch echoes this hope and the delight we can have now, in preparation for the even greater wonders to come. May your days bring joy to you and your family as we witness the awakening of spring yet again. God bless you!
My father knew much of Browning’s poetry and he actually stayed at highclere
Hello, thank you for your blog which is always uplifting, and I hope you had a happy Easter too.
Simply beautiful .
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for the thoughts and photos that represent so much Hope after such a bleak year.
Our hope is truly in Him snd His resurrection.
Have a blessed year, hope to see you at Highclere next Spring/Summer!
Hope Springs Eternal
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for the beautiful photos and inspirational writing that captures the essence of Spring and blessings of Easter so eloquently.
What a lovely reflection on the coming of spring and our celebration of Easter and renewal. As I’ve gotten older, my favorite season has morphed from the quiet beauty of winter, to the optimism of spring.
May you have a wonderful one.
Thank you for this thoughtful message.
Every day can be a good day –
Lady carnavron l pictures of resurrection of highclere castle and flowers and lamb
Happy Easter to you too. I hope you have a pleasant spring..
I would love some warm sunny days..
This was beautiful and describes exactly how a lot of us feel. Thank you for your words of hope and encouragement. Be Blessed!
Beautiful words and reminders!
I love this time of year. Each daily walk reveals new buds, little green leaves, turtles basking in the sun and putting pansies out.
My dear Lady Carnarvon, a very beautiful piece, as always, full of hope & joy for us all as Easter & Spring enfold us. Its been an extremely cold Easter here in the Fens, it actually snowed here this morning, as I’m sure it did all over the country – and last Wednesday we enjoyed the hottest March day on record!! The weather, like the rest of the World, is completely mad at present!
Happy Easter to you all at Highclere, & I look forward to seeing you all again as soon as we’re permitted to travel once more, yours sincerely,
It was lovely yesterday but this afternoon we have a had few flakes of snow!!!
Your blog is food for the soul.
Thank you, Lady Carnarvon!
Our Easter Sunday service was filled with joy, spring blooms, familiar hymns and the hope of our resurrection. Thanks be to God!
Happy Easter, from Louisiana. Are those pics from a Highclere chapel / church?
They are from Highclere church –
Thank you for this beautiful reflection. Happy Easter!
Dear Lady Carnaval,
I am enjoying your posts from Rio de Janeiro, where we are going towards autumn. You would have enjoyed the sight of a flock of 20 black-billled toucans that gathered noisily in a tree in my garden this morning and then silenced as they flew up past my roof. I thought of this when I read one of your comments, “Every day can be a good day.” Indeed. Thank you.
Lovely Reflection, beautiful story of birth and awakening. When Spring arrives, we have another chance.
Beautiful! Happy Easter to you!
Again, thank you for a lovely Monday morning read, always so uplifting and right on given our world wide situation. Agree with you (and all of my fellow Monday blog subscribers) that the onset of Easter and Resurrection is so appropriate at Springtime as all evoke hope for a new and better future. Continue to remain safe and well and do know that prayers go out from many of us that you and Lord Carnarvon and your families along with Highclere Castle pull through this pandemic era as so many of us are hopeful and planning on visiting once again as soon as safe to do so! Hope all the youthful noise and uptick of activities around your grounds don’t exhaust you all too much! Do take care.
Lady Carnavon happy Easter Monday and like highcelere castle
Dear Lady Carnarvon & the entire Monday Family,
Happy Easter 2021.
To today’s blog, can be added the words of Martin Luther:
“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”
Another powerful quote of special significance at this time of year is attributed to Albert Einstein, as follows:
“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
And to you, Lady Carnarvon & the entire Monday Family, at all times and especially at Easter, may the joy of Christ’s resurrection live in your hearts.
And may each one of you be blessed with warmth in your home, love in your heart and joy in your life.
Regards & best wishes,
Thank you so much Jeffrey for your additions
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you again for a lovely picture of Eastertide! The weather was beautiful yesterday here in North Carolina. Our church, under renovation, celebrated the Day of Resurrection with outdoor services in the Columnbarium, and it was truly lovely with remembrance of those gone before.
Many hopes for all of us to enjoy a coming year of more celebrations with loved ones and friends.
The sweet little lambs make the season joyful for you, your family, and old and new visitors!
It is a lovely service to ponder at Easter
What a perfectly lovely, hopeful and uplifting piece you have written.
Thank you so very much for this wonderful blog.
Wishing you and yours a beautiful spring!!!
Cheers from Washington, D.C.
Thank you Roberta
Thank you, love your comments and all the animal stories. Birth and resurrection , the cycle of Nature. Regards from Mar del Plata, Argentina.
Just lovely! Happy Easter to you as well. Who takes the wonderful photos that pepper your blogs?
I take them although i do not have the skills of my son or husband!
I so hope to see you soon, it was a year last December since we have been able to visit.
It was so wonderful to be able to attend an outdoor sunrise service after missing out last year. The sun rising over the mountains where I live was a beautiful picture of the hope I feel as we rise from the pandemic. I pray that you will soon be able to welcome guests once again. My best to you and your family.
Lady Carnarvon, thank you for taking such an interest in history and sharing your findings with us. You and your life at Highclere is what many people dream of. I am so glad that you and your husband take such good care of the castle, and that you are willing to let us take a peek at your life. I cannot even imagine being able to live in such a magnificent, historical place. Thanks to Downton Abbey for introducing Highclere to the world and to you for your continued writings. I am anxiously awaiting the second Downton movie.
Ahhhhh, so beautifully said!
Lovely reflection, expression of living faith. Appreciated, and wishing you all a happy Bright Week, Second Day!
I enjoyed reading your lovely post. It is hard to believe that one year ago this spring, the entire world was shaken by the pandemic. I learned to slow down during this past year and enjoy whatever I had taken for granted. Nature is certainty one of them. When I could not travel, it was a treat to walk in the backyard and observe birds, geese, ducks, flowers, trees, bushes, and some frolicking neighbor children. After Easter Sunday service yesterday, I took a walk on a gorgeous day and enjoyed the buds on the trees and bushes and the sounds of birds and geese in my yard. (I needed to burn off my Easter dinner as well.)
What an excellent analogy to the resurrection story in the Bible. I went to church for the first time in person since the pandemic yesterday. I felt resurrected myself. How I missed attending in-person services, interacting with dear friends, and listening to the glorious organ music at church! I even rang handbells for the first time during the service. (It is one of the skills I recently picked up, and I resurrected my piano skills during the pandemic.)
Wishing you and your family a blessed Easter and spring.
Thank you for such a glass half full – or brimming over reply
Love the Voltaire quote! Happy Easter!
Praising God for the message of the empty tomb. Your description of the beautiful dawning of spring reminds us of the universal renewal every year.
The Voltaire quote was new to me but meaningful.
I am forwarding it on to special others within my circle.
Best wishes for a “resurrected” incoming year!
Dearest Lady Carnarvon, thank you for sharing this. It has been quite a year. As a healthcare provider( RN in a busy Emergency Department is Southeast Texas) I have seen what Covid-19 can do- not just our patients seeking care, but my co-workers – we are fatigued, stressed out, worried , but we remain hopeful . With the vaccination and most still wearing masks, people have been getting out more, but still staying diligent and careful.
Highclere is on my list of places I want to visit . Hoping to make it there within the next two years .thankyou for your blogs, pictures and your words.
Laurie Ashworth – Texas
Oh my goodness you must be exhausted! The vaccine programme is the USA is amazing – but agreed caution will be the byword for this year and next perhaps. There is however hope
A beautiful reflection of this most important date. Thank you, and Happy Easter to you and your family!
That was very uplifting. Thank You for sharing your thoughts, and brightening my day.
Thank you for your beautiful reflection. Happy Easter to you and yours as well!
MY DEAR LADY CARNARVON,
LOVELY WORDS FROM THICH NAT HANH : “THE MOST PRECIOUS GIFT WE CAN OFFER OTHERS IS OUR PRESENCE. WHEN MINDFULNESS EMBRACES THOSE WE LOVE THEY WILL BLOOM LIKE FLOWERS .
HAPPY EASTER MONDAY FOR ALL.
I LOVE VOLTAIRE AND ROUSSEAU.
GOOD SPRING MILADY.
RIO CLARO – SP
I JUST BOUGHT
THE NEW MILADY BOOK AT AMAZON BRAZIL AT THE PRE-SALE. I LOVE DISCOVERING IT.I AM VERY HAPPY WITH THE PURCHASE.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH MILADY FOR HAVING WRITTEN IT.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
This is beautiful, Spring is my favourite time of year. Hope you and your family had a lovely Easter
Thank you again so much for your reflective blog. You have such a way with words that many people only dream of. Your mention of the lambs brought back memories of my childhood and watching the lambs playing. One of my favorite memories is of them playing on an old single axle trailer my father had parked temporarily out front. The lambs quickly discovered that they could make their own version of a teeter totter – what fun to watch them run from one end to the other making the trailer going up and down.
Happy Easter Lady Carnarvon. I hope this springs brings you love and joy as well as visitors to Highclere.
Dear Lady Carnarvon:
Thank you for your writing your Monday blog describing the beautiful Easter message and its correlation to Spring. The corresponding colored photographs were the perfect complement to the story. By reading it, I was really “cheered up” on this cloudy and rainy day here in Michigan.
Over this past weekend, I viewed the Instagram presentation regarding Highclere’s chickens, newborn lambs, and your Easter Sunday greeting. Very nicely done as well.
I look forward to reading and/or viewing your next Facebook, Instagram, or web site online adventure.
Until next Monday, please remain healthy and safe.
P.S. We had a very light snow last week Thursday, April 1, 2021 (a/k/a “April Fool’s Day). Local saying: “If you do not like Michigan, wait the weather will change”.
Such a thoughtful piece of writing . . . Happy Easter from Franklin, Tennessee!
(b/t/w . . . where are the stained glass windows? The floral arrangement is just stunning.)
They are in Highclere Church
It’s Lovely to read about your Spring. Down hear in Australia it is Autumn and therefore we will soon be shivering in our boots.
Thank you for sharing
Lady Carnarvon, you have a kind gentle soul. I so appreciate what you wrote. Acknowledging man’s want of eternal life. Amen! God bless you.
I moved this over here. Your thoughts on the Resurrection and spring were beautiful!! Hope..and life are all around us.. we all need to learn to just be. This doesn’t go far enough in thanking you for sharing SO VERY MUCH with us this past year….
You are all so wonderful!! Sharing the way you have in the last year has gone a long way in lifting people up. The Easter season reminds us all that there is always HOPE. What may seem like a small thing to all of you has been such a huge blessing to all of us! Thank you and God bless you all this Easter Weekend ❤️
Thank you for your reflections and sentiments regarding the resurrection.
The pandemic did make us take notice of what we were doing to the earth.
I pray that you and yours had a blessed Easter.
Blessings Phyllis Simpson
Merci pour cette belle écriture qui donne un air de fête en ce moment difficile…
Je vous souhaite, une très belle fête de Pâques.
Amitié de Belgique
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for your thoughtful Easter message bringing us hope for the future. The stained glass windows are beautiful especially with the light shining through. I love this time of year and my own garden is looking really springlike with blossom and shades of yellow in the forsythia, daffodils and delicate primroses, The description of your rumbunctious hens made me smile and I hope those lovely ladies are behaving and laying plenty of eggs. The lambs too are so adorable. I look forward to hearing about your piglets in due course.
Beautifully said. I miss the days of animals birthing on the farm. They certainly do carry the joy, energy, and innocence of new life. We could all use some of the joy. I am a new follower. Thank you for your blog.
Dear Lady Carvnarvon,
I hope you had a lovely Easter with a delicious meal to celebrate! Your lamb reminds me of the real reason for Easter as Jesus is known as the Lamb of God. As unblemished lambs were sacrificed for sins, so was Christ, who then was resurrected, Your descriptions of the blooming of flowers and sprouting of new green shouts is a great analogy of nature’s resurrection. I always felt spring is a renewal of the spirit. May you and your family and staff have renewed spirits in the months to come.
Blessings and aloha,
Lady Carnarvon, where there is Hope there is Love. With Kind Regards, Cheryl.
Dear Lady Carnarvor,
I’m reading your words a few days later in the week. It is refreshing to read your words of the Resurrection. Thank you for the poetry and I thank others who added their words and quotes.
Have a beautiful Spring.
Lady Carnarvon, it was such sad news to hear of Prince Philip’s passing. I have been very much an admirer of the Royal Family for so many years. On there royal website they had a Book of Condolences where you could leave a message. I was pleased that they did that and left a message. For you, I wish you all the very best for your opening on April 12 and that it continues through out the year. With Kind Regards, Cheryl
Thank you – next blog…
Your words are always so uplifting. Such a wonderful way to start my week! Thank you and God bless your family.
Hello! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your lovely home. To see new birth in many forms is life and beauty to our eyes. Resurrection is all around us, and as you stated we just to need to stay still, watch and listen to our beautiful home, Earth Enjoy Spring
I love reading your words and looking at all the lovely pictures. Lambs are beautiful.
Thank you !
A wonderful Easter message! (After a long few months of much work I am finally getting to some pleasure reading.) I hope you had a blessed Easter.