Monday, 10 November 2008

Out walking

When I was out walking tonight Somewhere Over the Rainbow came on my ipod just as I reached a lovely place to sit and contemplate near the river. It was a lovely evening, warm and sunny in the spot I chose. I looked up and saw an elderly gentleman looking over at me from his garden of roses. 

He started to talk to me so I took off my ipod and went over to his fence. The lovely man offered me a flower, one of his yellow roses that were just coming out in bloom. We got talking. The roses are planted on some land alongside the children's playground I thought was reserve land, no it has belonged to him for 60 years. He showed me the plants, some newly planted some that have been there for a while. We talked gardening, me trying to sound knowledgeable and him finally confessing he knew little about it. 

You see his wife was the gardener in the family. You might remember back to an earlier post about the gardeners and builders quote from Brida by Paulo Coehlo, it came to mind as we talked: "And while it requires the gardener's constant attention, it allows life for the gardener to be a great adventure". From our talk I gathered that this wife who passed away 18 months ago was sorely missed. Tending her garden, both on this plot of land and at their rest home apartment up the hill, gave him time and space to remember her. 

Talking about her to me seemed to be good for him. Little did he know how special our conversation was to me. As we talked he cut roses for me from several bushes, ones that smelt fantastic, ones that were losing their petals just a little, ones that were wet from the watering he had just given them. The most special was the one pink rose amongst the yellow blooms.

Today I had news of the worst kind, news of a friends devastation. I took the flowers for her, although on the way home I was greeted by comments and smiles from all I passed and was tempted to share them. Thirteen month old Alexander and his mum were outside enjoying the sun and Felix their cat; the fish shop man commented on the flowers as I bought fish for tea; the lady in the car that gave way to me as she turned into her drive and nearly caused a pile up; the two young girls carrying Thai takeaways home for tea. I dropped some petals along the way, the rest are in the photos here. 


Anonymous said...


I’m a big fan of Paulo Coelho! You will love this! He’s the first best-selling author to be distributing for free his works on his blog:

Have a nice day!


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post - and you can almost smell the roses from the pics. I don't know if it was a grey day when you took the photos, but the flowers jump out. So sorry to hear about your friend, I hope all is well again soon x

Jule's Short Story said...

It was early evening when I took the photos, still experimenting with my camera so I was pleased with the shots.

The roses still smell wonderful, my friend is not so good unfortunately.