Friday, July 21, 2006


Going outside to pick an arrangement is one of the pleasures I afford myself these days. Getting up when the air is cool in the morning, filling my lungs with cool fresh country air, I walk sedately down the steps and survey the garden. The scents are different to the ones I experience in the evening, and the birds chatter away greeting the new day. Now that the heat of the day shows through, with the promise of another hot day, I walk carefully around the garden and pick some flowers and foliage to create a bouquet for the table. Buddlias, zinnias and lilies bring the table to life. The morning is spent making scones, laying the table with fresh linen, checking the china that has not been used for years. I reflect on the pleasure I have in anticipating company coming this afternoon, for tea, for a look around the garden, for a memory that will be shared. My DH's aunt and friend are in their eighties and the tea I am preparing reflects a time in their life when taking tea in the afternoon was an art, something to prepare for. The table is laid, the flowers share centrepiece with lemon cake, scones, raspberry jam and cream. A pot of tea, steams on the stove while we chat about old times, our life here and how much we love our new downshifted way of living. We both agree how lovely it is to take time, to appreciate time and I am reminded of how at the age of 80, time can seem a commodity that may end at any moment.......enjoying taking tea together and enjoying the abundance a garden can give you. Time flies, conversation abounded and the ladies left with a memory of time shared in a new garden. This company and peace could not have been experienced a few years ago, simply because we would have been too busy in our working lives to take tea, to prepare it , even to appreciate the flowers in the vase.
I wonder which life I find more peace in.....

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