It’s a bright, cold day in March. The garden is a poem writing itself.
The last time the blossoms were out on the plum tree, the pandemic was just beginning. I know it’s not over yet; I am not fool enough to make such bold declarations. But I will allow myself a moment of reflection.
What in holy hell just happened?
I am alone. After years of full-time motherhood and three lockdowns, my children are both at school and nursery today. I’m emerging into the fresh green of the garden and into the anomaly, for now at least, of regular time on my own.
What do I do now?
This strange mixture of grief and relief is not unfamiliar. I feel elated, exhausted and bereft all at once. I don’t know if I’m hungry or tired. I miss my kids; I need time without my kids. Should I go for a walk or lie down? Clean the house? Write, read, laugh or sob?
The garden presents more decisions. Should I dig over the vegetable plot? Weed the borders? Start preparing the ground for the wildflower patch I’ve been dreaming of through the winter? There’s plenty to do, but I can’t focus. I’m waiting to hear one of my children call out for me, but they’re not here. I’m not used to being alone.
Except, I’m not alone.
There are the flowers: clumps of snowdrops and crocuses giving over to bright yellow daffodils, grape hyacinths and bursts of narcissus bobbing and nodding in the breeze. The tree, too, are slowly rousing from their winter slumber and beginning to put out buds. The field is softening, awakening from deep dreams.
After the long, hard winter, the warmth of the morning sun on my skin feels like a song. The frost-bitten shade snaps at my bare hands and cheeks. The green beaks of the tulips, aliums and bluebells are already above the ground, preparing for warmer days ahead, and the birds are rapturous, flitting about in the rush of early spring.
My mind is still unsettled, but the garden is speaking, beseeching me.
How about you just, like, sit down?
I gather some young nettle tops and cleavers to make a tea and take it down to the fire pit overlooking the fields which lead to the river. The hedgerows are on the cusp of the greening-time and the air is fresh and sweet and full of promise. I take off my shoes and plant my feet on the damp earth, then I sit for a while, eyes closed, listening to the birds.
I’m aware of a slight change in the living earth, mirrored by the sky. And then something wonderful happens.
It starts to rain.
A fine spring drizzle, tickling my forehead and landing on the back of my neck in a spattering of tiny, cold pinpricks. The shower feels cleansing and magical, like a love letter from the sky to the earth, sent to bring the world back to life.
A tonic for my tired soul.
I’m captured by the grace of the moment. I feel as though the rain is washing the heavy energy out of my body and draining it away, down through the soles of my feet into the earth. It’s a gentle, beautiful healing. For a time I feel at peace, full of gratitude, and held in love.
Restored by the simple serenity of solitude, blessed and embraced by the beautiful dance of spring.
Thank you for reading!