Friday, 11 July 2014

How to get Lost in a Small Space.




I sit in the garden with my eyes closed.
I hear the breeze rattling the bamboo leaves. I feel it lifting, cooling, while the sun makes hot patterns on my eyelids. When I concentrate I can hear the air.
There are distant voices, distant traffic, machinery cutting something some way away. People are going to buy things, keep appointments, look at things they might want to buy, meet and talk to one another, work in a myriad ways.

A wren chirrs. It's probably annoyed because I'm near its flight path.
A blackbird proclaims loudly about something very dangerous, probably me again.
High above me a buzzard mews, above the trivial fuss, circling, spiralling, riding the air. I resist the temptation to open my eyes because I know what I will see.

A sudden crescendo of sound - like an aviary erupting in joy or panic or both - as the children from the local school troop past on the other side of the house, more or less in crocodile formation, more or less pleased to be going out to swim or to run about in a competitive way. There are screams and shouts.

I do not need to open my eyes.
This space, this garden is printed on my cortex, etched into every part of me. I could probably weed it with my eyes closed, which is sort-of comforting when I think of my declining sense and sensibilities.
With my eyes closed I can be lost.

There's a muddle of memory, ancient and modern.
There's small granddaughter, picking her careful way through plants as tall as she is in order to get to her swing and the raspberries.
There's a magical evening with a son playing classical guitar as the light fades.
There's an equally magical time with other son, in the darkness, watching for shooting stars and seeing them - lots of them.
I can see a great collage of happy times; my husband, deep in conversation with his nephew, a group of friends drinking sherry through Cadbury's finger biscuits (used as drinking straws - worth trying!). Friends and family, good wine, cucumber sandwiches and scones, and yes, there is honey still for tea.

I am here, and I stay here while my body sorts itself out.
There is nowhere else that I would want to be.

So many memories, so many people loved and missed.
And then coming back.

15 comments:

Molly said...

I may not be in any of those categories but here I am, back and delighted that one of the first things I see after a long absence from Blogger is a brand new post by you! Your garden makes me remember another beautiful garden, the garden of a favourite aunt, my father's youngest sister, who died last week. I had not seen her in many years and if I had, she probably wouldn't have known me. Still, I will miss her, and the memories, and that lovely garden.

I wish you many more happy times reminiscing in your garden.

Marigold Jam said...

So good to hear from you again and you are obviously making the most of time to sit and to reflect whilst your body gets on with the job of healing itself. Very wise. I think one of the joys of being elderly is that whatever happens nobody and nothing can take away our memories which are as clear as if they were yesterday - no make that clearer I can't remember yesterday as well as the more distant past! Sounds as if you are having just the right prescription and it is working. Take care of yourself and know that you are missed when you don't post but that we will be here waiting when you feel up to it.

Relatively Retiring said...

Molly: I'm glad this brought back good memories for you too. I've also been out of action for some time, but am really hoping to be back.

Marigold: thank you for such a kind message.

Elephant's Child said...

Beautiful post. Isn't it amazing that the space in our head is simultaneously so small - and infinite.
Hug those healing memories.

Leslee said...

Summer is a wonderful time of year to sit in your garden and heal. Glad to see you back here, amid all that greenery seen and unseen.

Relatively Retiring said...

E.C.: the space in the head is such a good analogy.

Leslee: Oh, the healing powers of the garden - but I have to keep my eyes shut to avoid seeing all the jobs I'm unable to do.

Zhoen said...

Feeling the garden growing around one, easy to be lost there.

Relatively Retiring said...

Zhoen: I think it would be perilously easy to be missing for a few hours in your sunflower beds.

mm said...

Beautiful. Wishing you a continued peaceful recuperation, RR. How lovely to hear the call of a buzzard - and don't forget the sound of the occasional passage of a train!:-)

Relatively Retiring said...

mm: did you meet my free-range bantams? Well, the buzzards did.

mm said...

No I never did. Oh dear!

Jenny Woolf said...

A contemplative and contented post, ideal for healing. Wonderful to travel in ones mind while being very much in touch with the world around.

Relatively Retiring said...

Jenny: thank you - it's how I try to be, now my travelling days are over.

pohanginapete said...

So many more good memories to be created, too. I'm amazed (and delighted) by how often events that are supposed to be the last of their kind so often turn out to be nothing of the sort. I can hardly wait to spend time in that garden again, so thank you for evoking it so wonderfully. That'll sustain me for the time being. :)

Relatively Retiring said...

I've got the kettle on!