Paradise regained

Croft Gardener

Collige, virgo, rosas, dum flos novus et nova pubes,
et memor esto aevum sic properare tuum

Gather, girl, roses while the flower is fresh and fresh is youth,
remembering that your own time is hurrying on.

Ausonius (c. 310–395)

I’m back.

My desk has been restored, my muse has returned from her vacation, the equinox gales have arrived and my quiet life on the island has resumed.

The garden demands my attention, there are herbs to dry, preserves to make, cakes to bake and books to read. I must await the return of the wild swans, watch the waxing and waning of the moon, count the stars, long for the northern lights, be inspired by the rising and setting of the sun and listen to the songs of the seals.

I am stirred by the rush of the wind, soothed by the sound of the waves and refreshed by the rain. Nurtured by nature, with my head in the clouds and my secrets safe with the stars, I am free to fly, travel in time and dream of distant horizons.

The rhythm of my life is circadian, beating with the ebb and flow of the tides, synchronised with the music of the spheres. There is solace in solitude and love and laughter in companionship. I still seek the wisdom of age and have to learn how to grieve with grace, yet time slips through my fingers like sand. Is there still time to learn to dance in the daisies in the moonlight?

13 thoughts on “Paradise regained

  1. Freda Beston

    Oh Christine, what a beautiful piece. There is always time to dance in the moonlight..whether on a windswept beach through fragments of wrack or in the daisy strewn machair in a barefooted, dew soaked dream. Thank you, Freda. X
    Sent from my iPad

    • Thank you Freda, more of a blustery walk than skipping along the beach today, but the effect is the same.

  2. Welcome back. Your writing is such a pleasure to read Christine.

  3. Exactly – which is why I have ordered all those new roses!
    Welcome back to the muse who is clearly so thrilled to be back that she is facing the world and all it has to offer (the wind, the wild swans, the preserves, etc etc) in person – hello You! ps the muse still retains her skill with words…

    • I knew that it would be necessary to provide a translation as I have such a coteries of well educated readers. It seemed an apt quote as I can’t even grow Rosa rugosa! My muse has been idle for too long and needs to exercise her grey matter a little more and eat a little less cake!

  4. Good to hear that you’re back, and that all is as it should be.

    • Happy to be home and all is well with my world.

  5. Welcome back! I hope that you embrace these autumn days and wonderful night skies. I have been reading the Lewis Trilogy by Peter May recently and thought of your croft cottage on the shores. Potimarron seeds will be on their way shortly to make your garden glow orange next year!

    • Thank you. We are treated to some wonderful evening light at this time of year and on clear dark nights the stars are quite dazzling.
      Iread the Peter May trilogy recently. It is a fairly authentic portrayal of the darker side of island life. Fortunately the Uists are much more relaxed and lighter than Lewis and Harris – a combination of landscape and culture (the southern islands are predominantly Catholic rather than fundamentalist Protestant).

  6. I’m sure that your paradise has missed you too. Certainly your blog readers are delighted that you’re returned, and are reinvigorated for the island, garden and keyboard, What a lovely post.

    • Thank you. I’m always delighted to return to my island home.

  7. So glad that you are back, enjoying your island and your muse and gathering rosebuds. This year is the best I can ever remember for September roses.

    • I’m also delighted to be back home. Alas my rosebuds are metaphorical, although my tiny patch of rosa rugosa has flowered well and produced some hips.

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