Many Things To Marvel At

Black labrador stands on hind legs to cuddle a smiling man

19/2/22 Saturday
Under a blown-fresh sky, I hang on to the lead while the LoveMe labrador bounds ahead. We meet a young spaniel, they have a little sniff and greet. Yesterday’s salad dish is pooped out a brilliant dark green, (by the dog, not me) I regret not photographing it. It is the 2nd most fabulous poo I have ever seen. (Once caught a fox squatting, it left behind a marvel, berry coloured and sculptured.)
Drive to work over storm-strewn sticks.
20/2/22 Sunday
Another storm squalling, not so severe. LoveMe Labrador and I bounce around the lanes. I talk to her about the snowdrops beginning to unbloom, the primulas peeking up, the daffodils throwing back their heads in the wind, clearly laughing. She looks at me with loving politeness.
At work I go on a mission to Trelawney Garden Centre, and Bodmin Garden Centre, stocking up on two chunky cordylines, a tray of primrose, sweet peas seedlings, one variegated ivy, a striking black grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus), and a blue windflower. All of this must be stored in the care client's living room, along with her garden furniture, due to high winds. She is pleased with our efforts, much less phlegmy than yesterday. 

21/2/22 Monday
Morning strength training taking LoveMe Labrador for a walk. The last 100 yards are a reprieve, as she gets too tired to keep dragging the slow human.
[She is returned home this evening, most pleased to get her people back.]
Commute: cast my sightlines out to where the sea meets the sky and they smudge together. Bold white cloud above, daubs of white-tipped waves below. 
Workday: decide to plant out while the sun shines. Wind gusts at the little pots, primroses go rolling. The two large cordylines remain indoors because the indoor jungle vibe is fun. We open the window awhile, let the tempest rustle palm leaves, put a tropical beach scene on YouTube.

22/2/22 Twosday
Admire palindrome date, whip a hoover and a mop around the house, get soup heated for flasks, tog up to get to our land, keen keen keen since we missed a week. Take a binful of ash to the top parking bay first, this helps fill in muddy gaps and will encourage the growth of moss. In the hedge of the top field a tree is storm struck, an ash tree, this will be next winter’s firewood, it's no trouble at all. The van is backed out, the ground too soggy to allow a drive down, while I walk around the fallen tree, spying no more than middling branches scattered, and no damage to the stable. Down in the lower field, Mr gets clearing brambles and scrub ready to start laying in some of our hedges, I plant up white heather and bold coloured primroses at the far edge of the parking bay, then drag down three old troughs to be repurposed as planters.
Mr brings the scrub cutter back to the van, his arms, he says, are falling off. The cure for this is to sit and eat soup, and be happy watching the daffodils and crocus poke their colours up through the greenery. Dog trots about, a bit miffed that we didn’t think to bring her any soup. We are muddy, tired, resplendent, and refuse to be anything else even when I walk through the little woods and discover that the antique iron gate, which must have sat in place for a hundred years and likely more, and the post it was attached to, are gone. The storm has not done this, it has been thieved away. When we get home I report the loss and place a minor curse on the opportunists who robbed us. I also post the incident on social media, one of two (it is Twosday, after all) wonderful things to make us glad: 
1: We receive support from total strangers, many of whom have seen our spring flowers bloom and love what we’re up to at Paddock Garden
2: On the journey home we stop the van to let a pony club outing clop by - one child has the happiest face, is almost actually glowing, as they ride past- we are lucky to have witnessed such joy. 

23/2/22 Wednesday
Covering midweek shifts. Pick up medicines from the pharmacy on the way in, then take a detour to buy ten bargain fruit trees, all destined for the lower hedge. Six apples, two pears, two cherries. 
24/2/22 Thursday
Lightning brightened the bedroom before I had rolled up the blind- thunder overhead, followed by heavy hail, then sunshine. Sat in bed with coffee feeling weather-stunned. 
Commute through a cycle of rain, light sleet, sun. Starlings fly like crumbs shook from a tablecloth. See the sea, foamy and grey, hazy rather than shining.
At work, the weather is still changeable. I have brought waterproofs- the rubber duck coat and blue leggings- and my new hiking shoes. I decide my lunchtime walk will be to view the waves at Porthpean, via the muddy footpath around the back of the hospice, through the golf course, past the little granite church which has wedding flowers tied to the gate arch, down the steep road. Porthpean Beach is in the lee of the wind, the surf swooshing in over the sandbank, the sun picking out the sparkle, the aqua-gem colours. Clouds as dark and steep as the rocks lurk further out; the sky there is fuzzed with precipitation.

25/2/22 Friday 
The van is loaded with our bargain fruit trees, plus a willow, a dogwood, a goji berry bush, a clump of snowdrops, and the sale shelf bedding plants (purple pansies, multi-colours of primrose) we pick up at the garden centre when we stop to buy compost and bread. We drive to the land, the sun is shining, lambs in the fields are bouncing around, daffodils are waving- we are excited to see how ours are progressing. The van is parked in the layby so I can skim over the fence that Mr put up across the empty gateway- leaning up against the fence we are surprised to see our gate has been returned. We lift it to a more secure location, wondering if it came back because it was too hot to handle, too rusty for a good price, or if it is in fact magic and prone to disappearing tricks. 
So we dig holes, we stop to tell the tale to the passersby who are becoming familiar to us now. Ten fruit tree tags wave in the breeze. Lunch is soup and slices of malted granary eaten sat on a paving slab seat while our daffodils bob and crocus peeks up in purple, pink, and white. 
It feels like we are planting ourselves here, easing down roots made of work and wonder.
The roaming gate, the earth squeezing up flowers, the birdsong, the dirt under our nails, the soup drip on my shirt, it is all magic.

Smiling Lisa next to a rusty but characterful old gate


Steve Cromwell said…
Glad to see the gate returned! Funny thing - when I read of its disappearance, I was going to tell you about how a gate to a nearby graveyard disappeared for a year, and then one day returned. Maybe these gates have magic indeed.

Also, I had to look up scrub cutter. Here we call them hedge trimmers. But I prefer scrub cutters. I mean, The Scrub Cutters would be a great name of a band.
Lisa Southard said…
Ah, so there is a precedent! We are glad it flew home, even though it is rather rusty. We use the terms hedge trimmer and scrub cutter interchangeably, definitely the latter is a superior band name. The Sythettes is good too :-)
Aaaaah. Reading your words is always as refreshing as a big gulp of fresh fragrant air. You darned sure better write another book! (Please?) Really, your way with words is extraordinary. I know I've told you that before, but you need to keep hearing it so you never forget how gifted you are. Take care, sweetie.
Lisa Southard said…
Book is being writ! Your demands are as important as they are flattering, I will never be tired of hearing them :-)

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