I sit on the old wooden bench,
the sun wrapping itself around me,warming my skin like an old loved blanket on a cold winters day.
The hawthorn tree is a hive of activity,a feeding place,hiding place,shelter and playground for the many feathered visitors.Today it’s alive with chirping and singing,an array of melodies breaking the silence of the day.
The lawn is long.Dotted in large spots of bright sunshine coloured dandelions,left wild for the bees to feed.There are many,busily buzzing around,joined only by the butterflies,flitting haphazardly from flower to flower silently.
The forsythia has all but done its job for this year,providing the garden with its first burst of colour.Gradually being replaced by a palette of purples,oranges and reds,a welcome gift from the primula,pansies and tulips.The pansies I notice,gradually turning their bearded faces throughout the day with the turn of the sun.
Apple blossom,delicate shades of pinks and white,tower high,accentuated against the backdrop of the brilliant blue sky.Below it the white lilac flowers fight for space amid the hedgerow of elderberry and hawthorn,flowering there alone for the moment.
There’s a soft hum of lawn mowers in the distance.Whilst quiet voices drift over the tall old brick wall behind the shed.The voices of gardeners chatting and leaning on spades,assessing their hard work on the patchwork greens and browns that are the allotments.
The tall brick wall dividing the allotments and my quiet haven also serves as a rest place for my 3 cats.A watch tower.Sitting there for hours at a time,watching the activity of digging and sowing now that spring has arrived.For throughout the long winters that place over the wall is a playground for them,quiet and safe with the absence of humans.
Beyond the patchwork playground the view is lined with old trees,tall gnarly old pines,the gathering place for many a crow.
Sometimes as i sit here on my bench I’m lucky enough to see the huge buzzards,circling and gliding above me.Usually in pairs,occasionally more.Their great wide wings spread,the sunlight showing their feathered markings from where I sit below.
Then there’s the fleeting visits from the robin,as he flits happily from chiminea to wall,tail twitching and red chest on show,the tamest of my feathered visitors.As i watch him I often wonder if he is a visit from my dear aunt who left this earth last year,his chest ruby coloured to match her name.I take comfort in the hope that it is and say hello.
In the old stone trough shoots of bright green now emerge.Fresh mint,the scent a reminder of my grandparents garden when i was a small child.The mint wild,filling a huge bed which was backed by my granddads ramshackle greenhouses,made up of old doors and window frames,filled with pots and the smell of compost.
Now my small haven is occasionally filled with the laughter of small children as theirs once was.As my grandchildren explore and examine with their inquisitive eyes and minds,stopping to gaze at a ladybird or small daisy,pick up a leaf or collect pebbles.
My little haven filled with life,wonder and magic for anyone that wishes to sit and see.