Image: Ben Pentreath
April 23 2011
Dusk, at home in Dorset, in the west of England. I am sitting in my garden (pictured) at the end of another brilliant, perfect day of warm spring sunshine.
Everything is still. There is no breath of wind in the air; only the lazy sound of bees humming in the garden – hundreds of bees are in the air all of a sudden today – and evening birdsong.
The ancient copper beech tree that hangs over this house and garden has burst into leaf in the past two days. Its branches hang quietly over the lawn with its spring bulbs gently passing over, tiny dark red leaves catching the last light of the falling sun.
The bell of the church next door – this house on which I have taken a long lease is an old Parsonage – softly rang eight a little while ago.
The air, extraordinary for April, is heavy with the scent of tulips, wisteria, wallflowers. The evening has the feeling of a night in midsummer; it is strange to combine the warmth of June with the flowers and acid green leaves of spring; stranger still to imagine that quite realistically the garden could still be blanketed in snow or frost in a week or two.
I love these moments, as late afternoon drifts into evening and the cool of night begins to fall. London seems far away, work complete; the Easter weekend beckons.
I don’t know if you are like me; probably working a little too hard, driving forward rather too hard on rather too many fronts? I suspect you may be.
But from time to time, it sometimes occurs to me that we should be thinking less of how to spend it, and more of how to enjoy it; never more so than on this beautiful, still night, full of quiet promise.