The best time to sit in your city garden is between two and four on an April afternoon. The men will have finished playing soccer and returned to their desks and cubicles. The ball will no longer thud against the hoarding; the referee’s whistle will no longer scream, and the air will no longer vibrate with the blue-tinged views of opposing captains.
The neighbourhood pigeons will be flying tight circles of whooshing light. A bird you can’t identify will sing in the Japanese maple and a pigeon, plump and complacent, will perch on the lamp post.
The neighbour will not be playing the Wolf Tones or the Dubliners on his specially bought, specially set up outside speakers. His grandchildren will not be visiting. Your own kids will be at school or college and it will be too early to think about dinner.
The bell in Ringsend church will toll the hour and every quarter in between. The clematis will be flowering pink and white, hiding the bare patch in the evergreens. A jet will sketch a contrail across the sky and you will have time to watch its airy emptiness dissolve into the void.
6 thoughts on “Sunlight in the Garden”
April in Ringsend for me would be the start of the track season up at Irishtown Stadium Aileen. Maybe walking over the lock gates and the bridge, through the park to get there. And afterwards a pint at The Yacht, and another at The Oarsman 🙂 Good to hear that you’re enjoying a bit of peace there.
I have lovely memories of my sons’ school sports days at Ringsend Stadium, Roy. For some reason, we always seemed to get great weather. Didn’t bring them to the Yacht or Oarsman afterwards, though….
Hello Aileen – like that mystery bird, I’m settling for a moment, just to recommend a book that I picked up in a charity shop – Mary Webb’s ‘Precious Bane’. I thought of you because the book breathes Shropshire countryside through its use of language, and I think of you as a wordsmith. (Now, when I looked up ‘Precious Bane’ I found an entry in Wikipedia that said it’s one of the rural books that inspired the ‘Cold Comfort Farm’ parody. I didn’t catch any ‘overdone’ romanticism. I read it as I read Hardy – wonderfully evocative and with the distance of the historical as far as social relationships go. Maybe if I’d read a ton of rural books all at once, as apparently happened to Stella Gibbon, they might have given me indigestion. But one alone is a treat.)
I’m opening my wings, leaving your garden and flying off into Brighton now!
All best wishes
Ah, now I have two more books to add to my must-read pile! (Can’t read one without the other;))Thanks for the recommendation, Elaine. Always on the lookout for new reading experiences. Have you read H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald? Wonderful hybrid book, and beautifully lyrical. Read it over the Christmas and itching to reread it already!
Thanks for that – it’s always lovely to get recommendations. I’ve seen it in the library. Saw a book called ‘The Bees’ there today on their table of ‘recent acquisitions’. It’s by Laline Paull. Have you read it? Looked interesting.
Hadn’t heard of it, but checked it out on Amazon. Sounds interesting. Love when writers approach a subject in a new way. So now I have three new books on my ever-expanding list!