I have just been out in our back garden.
On this bright and airy morning, coffee mug in hand, sitting on the corner of our expensively wasteful, but guiltily gorgeous, chipped art deco table, which serves now as a bower for a burlesque of flowers and sun-turned shrubs.
The humming village just beyond and its life mundane are muffled by leaf and flower …
It’s a hard and scary thing to want to capture the beauty of as simple and as profound an experience as 10 minutes sitting in a little suburban garden on a sunny morning,
Sure isn’t it scary to write about anything that moves you, that touches something so deep that you want to shout about it … and you’re immediately afraid your words will fail you and you won’t do justice either to the experience or to your ambitions …
So you must quell that voice and do it anyway
Like now …
Shimmering sun, shifting shadow and whispering wind blend into this balmy interlude.
The sky is blue and clear of clouding gloom.
Time has slowed and wallows in this early morning corner of my low-set table.
I am just another variegation in this small but intensely dense enclosed cornucopia of pulsing leaf, shimmering tree and bursting bloom and blossom.
This is the first part of the garden to catch fire on a sunny day, and this is the perfect spot for this perfect time …
Adrift I am in garden heaven, and languid bird calls near and far, from pretty fluting whistle to raucous caw, and that bird that makes that intriguing dranging nose, like a telephone wire reverberating.
But … serendipity?
Well, when I came in from my 10-minute idyll in this gently breathing corner of the Rainforest, and tapped into Twitter, what awaited me only a tweet serenading me with this little beauty:
THE GARDEN THAT I LOVE.
Not wholly in the busy world, nor quite
Beyond it, blooms the garden that I love.
News from the humming city comes to it
In sound of funeral or of marriage bells;
And, sitting muffled in dark leaves, you hear
The windy clanging of the minster clock;
Although between it and the garden lies
A league of grass, wash’d by a slow broad stream,
That, stirr’d with languid pulses of the oar,
Waves all its lazy lilies, and creeps on,
Barge-laden, to three arches of a bridge
Crown’d with the minster-towers.
— Alfred Lord Tennyson
Truth is these captured moments in my garden have been more important than ever in these troubled Covid times.
One of the huge upsides of the pandemic for many has of course been the no commuting.
Not alone has it saved money, time and effort, it’s also such a simple pleasure to step away from my work desk every now and again and pop out into the garden.
It was really brought home to me the other day when I had to go into town to my old newspaper office to collect a new monitor.
First of all, there was the dead time waiting for the bus ….
I don’t miss that!
The work building itself is in a pretty drab part of the city anyway, on a normally jittery street, but now footsteps echoed individual and forlorn, and the office, once alive with activity and chatter, felt so empty and bleakly dishevelled.
I couldn’t wait to get home.
And into the garden.
One of the many things I love about our garden is it is at once familiar and ever-evolving.
Something new to notice every day.
Like this purple clematis which has just bloomed, and the rose beside which is about to open
And we’ve just noticed our beautiful laburnum tree has flowered again, after failing to do so for the last two years!
Just this morning I became entranced by a dangling clematis petal that performed the most exquisite pirouettes, a last dance, before fluttering down to it’s decking board death.
To lay there among the other departed Clematis Montana petals, like confetti after a wedding.
You could barely make out the gossamer thread that held it suspended while it performed this final, death-defying act. A requiem for itself.
I have tried to tag my little 20-second video here, but I don’t know if I succeeded.
I hope I have.
It reminds me of that famous scene in the film American Beauty where a plastic bag dances in the breeze.
‘Not wholly in the busy world, nor quite
Beyond it, blooms the garden that I love’.
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