I came across this painting of pear leaves on twitter this morning (thank you @ArtGuideAlex)
The ancient and completely unproductive pear tree at the end of our garden doesn’t look as healthy as any of these: a bad case of pear rust I suspect.
I love its age and hoariness – and the memory, more than 20 years ago, of the day we came to look around the house and Jacob ran out into the garden and straight up the old tree, surveying the prospect.
At this time of year, just as the sun sets and the garden settles into shadow, one last ray catches the top of the tree – like a goodnight kiss.
The sun is shining here – rare pleasure this August – and, sitting unwillingly at my desk, back to the window, I can hear children playing in the garden next door. The sound reminded me of this, from Burnt Norton:
Sudden in a shaft of sunlight
Even while the dust moves
There rises the hidden laughter
Of children in the foliage
Quick now, here, now, always-
Ridiculous the waste sad time
Stretching before and after.
Ah well, not long till lunchtime.
What wond’rous life in this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons as I pass,
Ensnar’d with flow’rs, I fall on grass.
Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less,
Withdraws into its happiness;
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find,
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas;
Annihilating all that’s made
To a green thought in a green shade.
From The Garden by Andrew Marvell
Gardening delights #22: coming across the plant that, yesterday – surely it was only yesterday, had no flowers at all.