Sunday, 6 November 2011
Waking strangely early on a Sunday morning, and feeling no ill-effects upon my physical or mental state from last nights tipple, I sit pensively in the dining room and contemplate the garden. In Summer, it is a welcoming place of different vantage points where one can take a different view of what is actually a relatively small space. From the top patio, it is possible to peruse the whole of the tichy garden, to see wriggling frogs in the pond or the mother wren popping in and out of the ivy teaching her young brood, bodies no larger than a 10p piece, to fly with insistent but encouraging ones. In Summer, the garden is a room where one can wander in and out of without a change of clothing.
Suddenly, in the space of a month, it looks a bit sad. Ok, the bamboo retains its verdant foliage and the hawthorn hedge has yet to lose its leaves. But in my laziness, I have yet to clear away the tomato plants which now black and withered, still hold some red fruits, and the birch trees have deposited hundreds of leaves on the lawn almost obscuring the grass in places (which still needs cutting. How strange for November!).
It seems the once comfortable space must now be yielded up to Winter. Soon, it may be underneath a layer of snow and not only will it be a place I do not step into for months, but also something which will not even enter into my consciousness except when occasionally I look through the transparent but isolating barrier of the patio doors with their large panes of insulating double glazing.
And yet, the garden is the same place. It hasn't moved! (Well, technically, on a cosmic scale, it has: To a place further from the Sun, but this is not evident from the placing of the penstemons or the alignment of the clematis.
So, the same place, with different temperatures, different light, different moisture levels, is a different place. Where we sat and drank wine on hot days as late as early October (and it was hot too! 29C on the first weekend), now one would look quite eccentric to sit upon the damp wood of the bench with anything other than a steaming mug of tea and a big coat.
Sometimes, I just can't reconcile standing in the same place and being overpowered by how different it feels in two different seasons.