Every morning I get up early, make tea and walk down the brick path to the end of the garden. Before my husband leaves for work, I steal a few moments of time alone.
Except I’m not alone here.
I check on the seeds and plants along the way. Green shoots of squash, climbing beans and sweetcorn – the three sisters – are sprouting in their pots, alongside peas, broad beans and sunflowers which the children planted at the start of the lockdown. Nasturtiums, wildflowers, poppies and marigolds are all emerging in the ground, alert and joyful, and there are bluebells under the cherry tree, enchanted and luminous blue. Big blobs of dew glisten on the leaves of the dicentra and the aliums are almost ready to burst from their cases. The lawn is lush and unmown and there are bumblebees at work on a patch of ground ivy, dead nettle and forget-me-not growing around the foot of the elder tree. Nettles, cleavers and dandelions are everywhere around the edges; I pick them to make teas. I feel called by the plants, as if they have things to tell me. The oak tree, golden-green goddess, presides over it all.
At the end of the garden is a firepit, beyond that a field. Further out across the river is a church built on a Saxon burial mound, ringed with yews and scotch pine trees. There’s a light mist rising. A fox moves gracefully through the long grasses: she catches my eye, fixing on me for a flash before trotting off into the trees. Lady’s smock and buttercups spot the field with pale pink and yellow, and there’s a robin singing in the ash tree.
Now is the magic time. Here, away from the news, the fear and the sorrow, there is truth and beauty. Things are growing. The trees, the birdsong, the land and sky gather me in; tendrils of steam from my tea spiral upwards into the air and just for now, I feel at the centre of some heavenly circle, and I am grateful.
To be in relationship with some small corner of the earth, to seek to know it, and to fall in love with its songs and its secrets – that’s something.
Back inside the kitchen, the tumble dryer thrums comfortingly. The kids are watching TV in the room next door. Morning sun pours in through the window, lighting up a vase of yellow tulips on the table, catching a drop of water as it drips from the tap, illuminating it with starlight.
(The above is my submission for Discover Prompts, Day 30: ‘Grateful’ https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/53424024/posts/41682)