A morning in the garden, on a lane where it seems every house possessing a man tipped him out of bed and sent him out to mow the lawn. And as it is clear one must try to fit in, I wasn’t about to declare myself the exception by allowing the man of this house to get away with what is clearly prescribed behaviour around these parts.
So into the garden we went. Him insisting I accompany him for the purposes of at least trying to absorb the sort of Vitamin D my body apparently wants nothing to do with, and me setting myself up under the parasol to write, drink tea, and mutter darkly whenever it seemed as though the lines of the lawn were looking a little squiffy, Because I’m good like that: I mow the lawn by proxy.
There is of course work to be done that I could have been doing. Weeds to pull and ivy to trim. Sweeping to do and pots to re-plant and still there I was, not helping at all and allowing myself the grace of simply watching and bringing out celery smoothies and plates of cheese and sea-salt sprinkled tomato whenever it was called for, trying to decide if I felt guilty for I wasn’t, as I would normally be, in a frenzy of shoving every stray leaf into a green bin-liner, but instead just letting it happen around me and stifling all guilt in favour of just letting myself be, under the watchful eye of a man who is worrying himself silly about me.
I am OK. When am I not? Though I understand that “I’m OK” is the mutter of the truly depressed, for me it is true: that I might be quieter than usual, less busy, less wanting, is merely me trying to learn to sit with what I feel rather than constantly suppressing my fright or worry in jollity. Trying to be OK with not being OK?
But then who could not let some contentment seep into her worried bones on a beautiful day like this? Who could sit and watch birds hopping around the freshly-mowed lawn, trying to bash the worms into the sunshine and not smile? Who wouldn’t crack a smile watching her boys do their smooth jazz moves on the grass?
Tonight then. Just Ste and I. Mint and lamb burgers with paprika sweet potatoes, aoili (Jamie Oliver style) and roasted tomatoes (Alison May style) later. Ste outside washing the car while I sit here in the living room writing to you. The children away, the house quiet, but the lane as always so very noisy. The windows flung open to simultaneously permit the shudder of passing trucks to shake the furniture, while every passing wasp colludes and decides to taking running jumps into my ears, so I keep having to throw the laptop and shriek my way around the room. Because yes. I am one of those women.
And then the weekend. Just us. Pottering, puttering, eating and talking. The kind of weekends we treasure. The fridges stocked with enough salad to feed an army of goats and all the non-alcoholic lager and pink-tonic to keep us happy. Time to write. To read. To obsess over the birds in the garden, because as I told Finn the other day my latest ambition is to be the kind of old lady who sits in her chair with a lap-blanket, watching a garden filled with bird feeders and boring everybody with the comings and goings of my feathered friends.
But there is life to be lived first. Ambitions to be fulfilled, places to go! Fabulous meals to cook, books to write, and right now, a tepid, reviving geranium bath to take and a sink full of dishes to wash, now my very own lawnmower man has collapsed into exhausted sleep on the sofa and it is up to me get the weekend party started, for when he rouses!
Good Friday. Yes, I do believe it has been. Happy Easter all.x