It’s 5am on June 19th 2021… there’s nothing more beautiful than a still garden after dawn. The roses are resting like stone angels on a gravestone – not a petal or a wing stirring. It’s as if the world has stopped turning.
The sweetest thing has happened. Our neighbours, Sue and Dave, have planted a bed in front of their bungalow with wild flowers – and called it ‘Leigh’s garden’. The bees love it. So do I.
Tomorrow we shall plant a hawthorn tree for Ria near Indian’s Head in Dovestone , close to Dom’s rowan tree. Her friends will come…Maria, who still sees her sitting on the stairs; Kaz, the wise one who loves to walk and who had a midwife for a mum; Janet the carer, who can clean a house like a dose of salts – pretty in pink; Mel the music-maker, with a smile to die for; Deli of Mel, lover, mother and health worker and Claire, colleague and loving playmate for Ria, who has cared for Cal and Mudge the cat, til both moved on.
And from the family she loved. Marcus and Catherine, beloved son and daughter-in-law who thanked us for planting the tree; treasured son Calum, self-isolating as housemate has covid, will be thinking of us; Chris brother and Susan, sister-in-law will come from Hebden – the second planting for them; Kev, sweet cousin, will come from Sheffield no matter what restrictions try to stop him; Nell, sister will be with us, timid and watchful; Hinnie, sister, with thoughts too deep for words and Raja, neighbour in Mossley and constant friend to us all. David, Ria’s hairdresser, can’t be there for work commitments – but has sent rose quartz crystals for her and will marry Shaun on June 28th. Another postponed wedding, which was to be celebrated in Dovestone last year, but now a quiet homely, family do. What a special place Dovestone is…
John will be with me to help me up the hill, as he has done for nearly forty years.
Then, on Sunday 21st june, it will be Father’s Day.