There are some pleasures so simple, so quiet that it’s easy to ignore them as a moment of beauty in one’s life. But over this very wet summer I have been deprived of one of these pleasures on a very regular basis.
Early in the morning, when the dew still glistens on the grass and the droplets hang on back-lit spider webs like decorations on Miss Haversham’s wedding table, I take my cup of tea into my garden and wander. It’s a small inner city garden so this is not a lengthy exercise, but it is a time of quiet solitude. My gaze wanders across the blush-tinged frangipani, herbs, the potted citrus trees, the blood-red roses,whilst trying to ignore the hot pink trampoline that has recently taken up residence.
Some mornings, my cat stretches lazily and pads around next to me, as I de-aphid the roses, try to find the caterpillars munching happily and hungrily through my lemon tree’s leaves and pick some frangipani blooms to float in a bowl. But mostly it’s just me, my cup of tea and my roaming thoughts.
But this summer of record rainfalls, I have retreated to my study that overlooks the back garden. The grass is lush and way past its mowing use by date, the herbs are also enjoying the rain, but the blush-pink frangipani are brown-bruised and the roses covered in black spot. And my roaming thoughts are contained, restrained and more often than not, accompanied by my not very quiet 5 year old.
I’ve tried a change of venue, taking my morning tea to my front balcony and gazing across the harbour, watching the morning rowers, unfazed by the rain, the ferries and the rippling of the water as the rain disturbs its surface. And it’s beautiful, no doubt about it, but it’s not the same as being in my small plot of nature, touching, nurturing and thinking.
I’m not one for bush walking, camping or other more earthy displays of communing with nature. But even my urban soul yearns for the calming influence of nature on balmy Sydney mornings that isn’t met by a morning walk or a harbour view. Nor is it a particularly beautiful or exotic garden, but it is quiet and peaceful in the early morning and allows me to think freely in a way I don’t do elsewhere.
So, I’m longing for La Nina to pass. For the weather to return to the drier and fresher air of a Sydney Autumn so I can resume my simple morning pleasure.