Gail has gone away for a bridge tournament in Seattle for a week and has asked me to look after her garden. I am quite happy to do so. Her harvests are starting to come in: she just took down the ten-foot-tall bower of yellow beans. The kale is colourful and tasty and the cherry tomatoes are in great abundance.
Sunday I stepped quietly out into the garden and looked up at the blue sky. Placed in it were big fluffy clouds.
They seemed to be sitting stock still but they were not. I looked away for just a moment and when I looked back someone had moved them.
I stood very still myself and took in the view all around me. I slipped a ripe cherry tomato into my mouth and bit into it. Yumm. A calliope hummingbird flew down to the clothesline just a couple of feet above my head. We eyed each other easily. After a couple of minutes she was joined by a male. He perched beside her for several moments with his bill slightly open — almost as if he were speaking. Then at an agreed-upon microsecond both flitted away, dive bombing each other above the garage.
It was early afternoon and I looked down at the iris at my feet. I then had one of those experiences I have described before, where the mind is taken by some cue (a smell, a sound, or in this case a particular colour of light) back to a time and place far removed. I was in my mother’s side yard in midsummer before I started kindergarten; I was looking at her iris plant in the summer sunshine. Nothing happened then, no big event. Just a comfortable feeling in the garden, my mother and my baby sister inside the house. But of course that’s it, isn’t? A time of peace and reassurance without worry or complication. The “happy place” we all need to return to from time to time. I don’t remember revisiting that iris before but I now know I can whenever I need to.
And now back to the present . . .