The Garden

Vivaldi’s Artistic Challenge – “The Eight Wonky Seasons of the Pandemic” (inspired by a Manchester garden in 2020)

By August 31, 2020 September 7th, 2020 No Comments

If you’ve been in the garden this year, you can be forgiven for being confused by the comings and goings of the seasons. Whilst, at the same time, feeling blessed by the privilege of having an outdoor escape from the Coronavirus Lockdown.

Vivaldi’s “The Eight Wonky Seasons”

This year I’ve had time to wonder if Vivaldi had lived in Manchester in 2020, whilst working on his masterpiece “The Four Seasons”, what would he have come up with? How rattled would he have been? Would we now be listening to “The Eight Wonky Seasons” instead? How might his artistic talents reflect the unfolding horrors and hopes of the seasons this year?

Like many things, we were unable to open our garden for the National Garden Scheme due to covid restrictions. Work carried on regardless, not least because there was little else to do!

Weirdly the seasons have come and gone prematurely. Haphazardly producing early colour and more than one flowering for many plants. Everything is a bit Pete Tong again now though and plants and trees have been badly hit by high winds and biblical downpours. Who knows why the seasons have unfolded as they have this year? Divine Intervention, Climate Change, or simple Mancunian randomness?

Would Vivaldi’s new interpretation depict a year more like this?

Season 1 “Winter of Worry”

The year started with a mild winter and a rising fear of a coronavirus pandemic.

Season 2 “Spring of Fear and Loathing”

Spring came early and lasted a couple of weeks. Then Lockdown brought it to an end but compensated us with a blast of unseasonable heat!

Season 3 “Flaming Summer of Suffering and Bravery”

A blazing April, a sizzling May and a truly “Flaming” June were welcome. They were no match, though, for the sadness behind the daily updates of suffering and grief despite the profound bravery of so many on the frontline and in the NHS.

Season 4 “Returning Spring of Hope”

July cooled down and it was wet. Although nothing was resolved, the rain couldn’t dampen the sense of hope that the worst might be over.

Seasons 5 “Autumn of Release but Uncertainty”

August, the heavens opened and the storms gathered. Some leaves had already fallen. Lockdown was easing, albeit cautiously, before Manchester locked down again.

Season 6 “Indian Summer of Optimism”

Now with September in the balance, we’re all longing for an Indian Summer to extend the holiday season for staycations and to generate a bit more pleasure from the garden. We look forwards to the coming winter with hope of a vaccine and no second spike in the Pandemic.

Season 7 “Autumn and Good Harvest”

All being well, we’ll have the traditional season of mellow fruitfulness and a good harvest to set the scene on a positive note before winter returns.

Season 8 “Bleak- Mid Winter, Yuletide and a Happier New Year”

No doubt it will be chased into Christmas by a wet and cold Mancunian winter. But that’s nothing new and the season has its compensations.

All in all, I suspect Vivaldi would have needed to have raised his game to produce his “Eight Wonky Seasons” double album reflecting the general melancholy of the year, yet ultimately lifting our spirits with the expectation of better times to come. Even given this challenge, I’ve no doubts he’d be worth a listen. For now though, a return to a more predictable and more hopeful “Four Seasons” would be more than enough. It’s worth another spin and bound to cheer you up whatever the weather!

Neil Kinsella

Author Neil Kinsella

More posts by Neil Kinsella

Leave a Reply