They’re on patrol again this morning: my squadron of spitfire-birds. Circling, diving, turning against a deep blue, cotton-wool flecked sky. Fluffy, white clouds somnolently drift; wind-blown across the morning-blue backdrop.
Raucous ravens caw in the treetops. Tits blue and great, chirp and chatter; hanging from bouncing branches, pecking breakfast from underneath sleepy leaves.
My birds fly away. Pencil-thin silhouettes. Child-like drawings on blue paper. Black specks which flutter and disappear. Under the empty sky, a dove coos. Overhead, wings beat – a fly past – geese cackle in formation. It is warm: an autumn warmth.
A breeze gently brushes my legs, damp fingers in dewy morning air. It is going to be a nice day. I know. I sense it. I smell it. Outside my garden world, people begin their day. Cars whisper along amber, lamp-lit roads. Their pungent smell hangs in the air; floating like a blanket, creeping into my nostrils. Houses protect people sleeping – not yet time to awake. Snores precede alarms. Heads scratched, faces washed, breakfast hurriedly consumed, maybe? Run to the door, snatched tea and toast in one hand, coat in the other. Vehicles wait in dawn-lit garages.
Sun paints the top of the fence – orangey-yellow streaks over grey. Brushstrokes sweep down into shadowy, green foliage. Leaves awaken, splashed with colour. Petals unfurl, pointing to the sun. Seconds tick. Light invades. Shadows move. A web glistens like a necklace adorned with jewels, bouncing against the wind, glittering in the shadow. A spider moves, heading for its morning feast.
Bees buzz, early breakfast, pollen for the hive, more honey. I love honey – I can taste it on my lips. My stomach rumbles. The bee emerges, backwards, covered in yellow fairy-dust. Flying away, it leaves an invisible trail of sparkles that I cannot see, like a dog whistle that I cannot hear.
Blackbird alights on the fence, flicks his head from side to side, searching, looking, watching the snail that slowly slithers along the grey path. His yellow beady eyes fixed, unblinking. He’s ready, poised. He drops, like a stone. A flick of his head and the shell lands in the grass. Empty. Lease available. Ready for rent. New owner needed.
Sun has finished painting the fence. It is morning. Dawn dissipates. A new day is here. Good morning. My garden is alive, alight, active.
Sundial slumbers, hidden in the shadow of a bush. Lazy bones. Time to wake up. Time for work. Time stopped when the sun slept. Sun’s golden finger touches it. A thin shadow appears. What time is it?
Long grass glistens. I run my fingers through cold, dark-green filaments, touched by creeping sunlight; still damp from last night’s dew. Sleepy yellow buttercups offer cups to the sun. Searching, waiting, for morning’s warmth. I finish my tea and put down the cup: it is cold. I rub sleepy eyes, and head to the shed. Mow the lawn. It’s another day.