I write this propped up in a strange bed. Four days strange, but welcoming, comfortable, quiet, and enveloping with its yellow sunflower bedcover. It’s my holiday haven. I look around and try to notice everything about being here, as it will soon be over, these moments gone, unlikely to be repeated. I still myself to the now. It’s said that by focussing on the present moment we let our worries dissolve, we pacify ourselves, and we’re generally more contented and accepting of how things are. These last few days have been defined by my body feeling heavy and drinking in sleep, as thirstily as someone who has just stumbled out of a desert. I wake to the hum of distant cars and roll back to sleep amidst the sunflowers again. The moments the day will bring can wait until I am replenished. If you were to ask me what I have done so far, I might say sleep and little else, but there have been moments. Picking raspberries and blackcurrants and rubbing balm into my scratched forearms. Blowing bubbles in the backyard with J. and watching a huge one rise and wobble like a slomo of a high-rise in an earthquake before breaking into four, five six, smaller bubbles in the most transfixing magic show I have ever seen. There was birthday cake on the beach for T., where I was reminded that just because the calendar says summer it does not mean I can wear shorts every day. I froze. Four nighttime walks: wee boys in the garden wave to me now, masters at his present moment and creating adventure from nothing. On the beach, a man thinks I’m someone else. I know it from far off by the way he looks at me, walks towards me with that, ‘fancy seeing you here’ look. He lifts his glasses for a better look at my face. I shake my head and shrug. ‘I’m not her, am I?’ I say. ‘But you’re her double,’ he says. ‘Tell her she needs her roots done,’ I call after him. That was the same night I met R. He didn’t mix me up with anyone. We had a socially distanced hug (of course there is such a thing) then watched smoke rise from three bonfires and tried to locate them. There will continue to be endless cups of tea in mum’s back garden. Wheaten bread and apple sponge and fresh eggs and strawberries have arrived into the cups of tea. The ‘nice eggs’ shout after the bearer of the eggs (and they were nicer than nice) may have been misconstrued as ‘nice legs’, but that’s ok. The weather hasn’t done as its been told but we’ve beat on through, meals eaten in the garden, balsamic drizzled on the caprese salad while the rain drizzles on us. Ice-cream has been eaten too – parma violet (controversial), Belgian chocolate (conventional), honeycomb (predictable). Kids on paddle boards, pulling deadwood from the hedge, dusting off last year’s wetsuits, leaving the brown bin out last thing at night. Nothing in particular to write home about. Maybe because I am home. It’s all about the moments.
This Moment, Evan Boland
Things are getting ready
out of sight.
Stars and moths.
And rinds slanting around fruit.
But not yet.
One tree is black.
One window is yellow as butter.
A woman leans down to catch a child
who has run into her arms
Apples sweeten in the dark.