It’s early morning, Sunday, midsummer. I have the kitchen to myself, and I decide to make an omelet from the brown eggs and farmer's cheese that I bought at the market, yesterday. The house is still, save for the sound of the fans and the occasional squeak of a floor board. I consider turning on the radio, but change my mind. How often do I allow myself silence?
Tea is steeping, a blend called Nile Pearls, and the aroma of pineapple fails to overshadow the black currant. I’m still in my nightshirt. Day can wait. The view from my window makes me smile for my herb garden has gone quite riotous. I decide to make my simple dish more flavorful.
Pushing open the screen door, I pause, stretch and lift my face to the sun. The thermometer is sure to climb over 30 today but, right now, it is comfortable. Stepping off the deck, my toes are grateful for the coolness of the grass, the absence of tight shoes, those self-imposed feminine trappings.
my clean feet
wet with dew –
There is a feeling of sanctity, here. My garden is raised, built into a small hill that provides privacy, yet swallows yard space. I pause to sniff the lavender, let the week dissolve into soft, purple splendor. Pointless, really, to even try to ignore the rhubarb. It is a tyrant, defying borders, refusing to compromise its position. Enormous leaves rustle and I grin as a chipmunk streaks for the cedar hedge. I close in on the herbs, consider my options and snap off several long, verdant spikes.
Close to fields, we have had our share of visitors, small frogs, grass snakes, rabbits, red tailed hawks, the occasional raccoon. Nature is taking back the encroachment of suburbia. I rip off a mint leaf, finger its fur and a movement catches my eye.
a snail inches towards
There is no artifice in dawdling. Often, I think that my small plot of land is enough for me. No adventure to the far East, no sabbitical on a windswept isle off the coast of Wales. Pleasure, riches, surround me. Perhaps, I will never see the Louvre, but then, in small ways, the Louvre visits my plain home.
a spider's web
and my clothesline
The neighbours tolerate my brown thumb, our patchy lawn and my horrid bird calls. They have witnessed the earth under my fingernails, encrusted knees , those afternoons I spent coddling seedlings. One keeps gifting me surgical gloves, a nurse who fights weeds with an antiseptic resolve. The gloves pile in a drawer, unused. I gaze at my roses, notice the gnawed growth, wonder who thinks them delicious. Smart wee beastie. The street is stirring, and my sojourn will end, soon.
the widow next door
refills her new bird bath -
I search for a cloud, find one so far away that it appears otherworldly. Peat and black soil perfume the air. Inhaling, I accept a gentle invasion, a piercing that brings a deep sense of purpose and peace.
For just one moment, I feel that I am not walking the earth at all, but that somehow, as impossible as it seems, the Earth just began to move within me.
*written May 2013.
I miss my herb garden!