Sunday, 16 January 2011

a soft pink glow

The light was lovely this morning - there was a soft pink glow to the garden .

We only have two more weekends here and we spent yesterday doing more clearing work. Having already moved shrubs, herbacious perennials and climbers, yesterday we were taking plant pots, water barrels, sacks of grit and sand to the allotment for temporary storage in five tiring return journeys. The garden looks quite bare now and we were both left with our own thoughts at the end of the day.

For some, a garden is a space to be mowed ... and not much more than that.
For us, the garden has been the focus of our lives - our children grew up in the garden, playing on the swing or hitting cricket balls. As we cleared plants we would turn over a small plastic toy lost years ago or a cricket ball that had been knocked deep into the borders -'Six and out!'. I cleared protective mesh from the pond and disturbed large female frogs under the surface, six weeks from spawning and evidence of our success as wildlife gardeners. Prospecting tits explored the garden looking for nest sites - but the boxes have already been taken down.

I bagged up sticks and logs that had been placed in piles for invertebrates and found clumps of snowdrops that would provide early nectar for foraging bees out in a barren January.

And the ghosts of many evenings spent on the patio were disturbed, just the two of us talking together in the soft evening light tracing the pattern of bats in the sky or with friends and family.

The prize ahead is that all of this loss and disturbance will eventually lead us to an even better place to spend time together. It is just difficult to hold on to that all the time.

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