Windows flung open, upstairs and down. Roses, all hues, in full buoyant bloom. The cat that jumps into our flat through open windows, surprising us both as it wanders through the rooms as if it’s always lived here (and, oh, how this pair of cat-lovers dreams). A small, splendid delight.
These are the days I dream of all year – late spring, early summer, three weeks ’til the solstice, call it what you like. Front gardens throughout the neighbourhood spill over with floral bounty: a rainbow of roses, a fine flock of foxgloves, a drift of delphiniums, a litter of lupins. The shoots in the ground seem to grow a full inch every day, their new leaves green like light, like vigour, as the sun paints my hair golden. On sunny lunch hours we speed from the office to the gardens by the river, trailing packed lunches and conversation and a soft, blue blanket found beneath an empty desk.
Spinach and lemon polpette, eaten outside by the light of a candle, fulfilling all those (long-shelved) Lady & the Tramp dreams. We watched from our seats the best show in town as a flock of geese, hundreds of them, flew above, calling out into the endless blue sea of sky, their long outstretched necks visible even from our perch in the little garden off the Uxbridge Road. Off they went, in search of something, somewhere, else. It made me wonder.
It’s hard to think about leaving the life we’ve built for something new as the sun warms the flagstones beyond our back door and hot pink roses scramble up the fence. Our neighbourhood peaks in June, clematis and sweet peas tumbling over one another in search of the light. There’s a satisfying queue outside the ice cream parlour I pity all winter, children’s voices echoing on baked tarmac in the playground. The park is dotted with sunbathers and vernal young lovers. Possibility hangs in the air. At the weekend we spread out a quilt my grandmother gave me between the grasses, when spending all day lying beneath the lilac tree seems as valid an activity as any.