A couple of days ago I had lunch at my local favourite, Cafe Haven, with my dear friend, J. Over terrific salads, hers spinach, strawberries, goat cheese and walnuts, mine mixed greens with seeds, cranberrries and hummus, both topped with Julie’s delicious balsamic vineagrette, we shared year end stories (we’re both in education) and early summer adventures, hers camping with her 3 children, mine sitting in silence. We both tried to find the upside of a week’s worth of constant rain and below average temperatures: reversing the drought, adding to the water table levels, easy sleeping, a blessing for outside workers (or not), tackling the indoor job jar, green lawns and lowered water bills. Bottom line, we felt soggy, chilly, and cranky with this first quarter of our short and precious summer, especially as predictions for the next week not looking any warmer or drier.
A couple of hours later we came over to my house, a short walk, but given the rain, an even shorter drive. As it was J’s first visit, I showed her around, first the front yard, with our berms (“little moguls” as the neighborhood kids call them) looking the greenest in years, and then the back.
Even though we (the “scientist” and I) live in a typical mature neighborhood, we have the good fortune to be situated on the curve of a cul-de-sac, which means our backyard is wide and spacious, park-like and natural with mature trees and dogwoods and minimal gardening.
In that moment of walking through the gate, into the backyard, I was spellbound by its beauty and stillness. It must have been a particular combination of cloudcover and low light …everything was clear and green, palpable with a gentle, quiet energy. The only sound was a birdsong and water fountain.
In that moment after the rain, I saw my backyard of twenty-seven years through the eyes of my friend, J…seeing the same old, new.