Some things simply give you access to joy and make the world right. I was debating whether to risk the wrists in the garden this afternoon. The sun was warm, the light just perfect, the garden messy and in desperate need of its pre-winter trim and tidy… But I should have remembered; this is Nature’s garden, not mine.
But as I went out, armed with the roll of bags and pruners, a cloud of butterflies flew up from the valerian. They do this to me every year… And the valerian seems to have decided to flower again… and there is a huge swathe of it at the front of the house that self seeded there. I left it because I love it, and so do the butterflies and bees… not so much the passers by where it spills onto the path… but the local children like to see the fluttering creatures.
I ditched the bags and shears… there was no way I could bring myself to destroy this haphazard tumble of beauty. It fits no plan, conforms to no gardeners’ design and is undoubtedly untidy. Brambles wind through, creeping in where I cannot reach without destrying the flowers… but the birds like the berries and so do I…
I reached instead for the camera, delighting in the furry bodies of the butterflies and the delicate details captured better by the lens than my screen-tired eyes. There must have been thirty of them, from cabbage whites to peacocks and red admirals… honey and bumble bees, and the fattest red tailed bee I have ever seen. A red kite keened just overhead, swooping between the houses before sailing high again… just feet away… and between the colours and the beauty and the bird, I felt the joy bubbling over and spilling down my cheeks. There are moments like that… even in the middle of the street.