The September sun is sweet and golden. It filters through the early morning mist and into my lips and nostrils, filling my lungs with cool, fresh air.
Already, parts of the garden are becoming dark, forbidding, hinting at the mysteries to come. A new baby at the start of the summer means that I’ve had little time for weeding and pruning (or, indeed, anything much at all) and everything has grown deleriously wild. The walk to the compost bin has become a gauntlet of cobwebs; the fernery is lush and overgrown to the point of being untraversable by humans (I did, however, spot a frog hopping around in there recently, much to the delight of my daughter); brambles have bounded over the wall untamed, seeking to reclaim patches of earth, repaying us with ripe fistfuls of blackberries.
We are poised in the soft, shimmering space where summer meets autum. The untended parts of the garden have brought pleasant surprises: self-seeded calendula and nasturtiums, splashes of orange and red among the riot of mottled and mellowing leaves, raggedy and unkempt, shining in the glassy, late summer sun. Outside my bedroom window, a passionflower, almost too beautiful and otherwordly to be real, has wound its way around an explosion of budleia bush. It is like opening my curtains to a gift each morning.
Life is necessarily consumed with the domestic work of home and children – the joy and the drudgery, the magic and the chaos – for now. Perhaps that’s why I’m enjoying the wildness of the garden so much. When everything is done in snatched moments and wildness seems far away, a few precious moments here on my own, breathing in the golden mists of the morning or gazing skywards on a clear, starry night, are a bridge back to myself; wild nectar for my soul; a way home.