At about five a.m. I woke up to hear a bang downstairs and roused H to ask him if he heard it. He told me to go back to sleep. I got up. I threw on his robe and went to investigate. The back door was open, slightly ajar. Nothing seemed to be disturbed. I prowled around the house. Looked into each room half expecting somebody to jump out at me, demand money, my jewels, the entire supply of my precious marmalade. But everything appeared normal.
By then I was wide awake and brewed a pot of coffee. I opened the windows in the kitchen. The morning had begun. Bird music saturated the garden and the sky was a billow of blue milk. I was happy to be up and even though the day ahead was a stretch of ribbon that might seem impossibly long, I decided there and then that it was going to be a good stretch.
We have a wood pigeon who visits us now. Her coo is like a tea cosy - a pair of new socks - a back scratch - a blueberry muffin hot from the oven - yellow flowers in the rockery - china blue blossoms of borage - thick stew on a cold day - sand on your toes - a bubble bath - the dogs wet nose on your skin - mint sauce poured over the first potatoes of the season - a ganache that spreads like silk onto a cake - even H's robe.
Everything looks possible at five a.m. It is like being on a boat in the middle of an ocean on still waters. I can imagine it. Clear blue liquid with nothing to mire it. No rocks, seaweed, waves. I see myself just resting on the deck, stretched out, my neck back and long, arms spread wide, my body totally trusting and ready for what awaits me beyond the horizon.
Horizons are interesting. You never really reach them. When you think you are almost there, reached the line, it only evaporates to form a new one. Elusive and seductive I steer my boat to the edge. And rest..............'I heard the old, old men say, 'All that's beautiful drifts away, Like the waters.' WB Yeats.