Month: April 2016

Magnolia, April 2016 | edge of evening

From the bench

Though it now seems almost impossibly unlikely — two frosts & a hail storm this week — there was a day last week when I spent the morning on the garden bench. And though I told you about that morning, I didn’t use the obligatory magnolia-at-peak-beauty photos that I took from my bench. The tree was pruned heavily after last spring’s flowering and so peak-magnolia was slightly less magnificent than the last couple of years (when, in retrospect, the tree was taking up more than the width of our narrow garden) but it was still pretty magnificent. Like the peak of many things, peak-magnolia is a moment that only reveals itself in retrospect. Now the petals have browned, the leaves aren’t yet fully unfurled. Now we are at the ugly duckling stage between early spring and late spring. Between the time when it all seems joyous and miraculous, and the time when you wish it would just hurry up and be summer already. But the chicks of the blackbirds nesting in our neighbours’ climbing hydrangea have hatched. The …

In Certain Circles by Elizabeth Harrower | edge of evening

In Certain Circles

Whether the expressions so recently shown on her face belonged to the luminous quality of her eyes, or to the shape of her mouth, or to her nature, neither Zoe nor her mother yet knew: she was only seventeen. Zoe had awakened in this square stone house on the north side of Sydney Harbour, and learned soon afterwards from her family and their friends that she was remarkable. There was a big garden. There were people of her own size for company. At the end of the short street of old houses in long-established gardens was a white curved beach with rocks, rock pools, very small waves, shells, pebbles, fine sand. She swam before she walked. In Certain Circles by Elizabeth Harrower Sometimes you read a book which contains answers to questions that you haven’t yet fully articulated. I’ve just been sitting on a bench in the garden, beneath the magnolia, with a riotous racket of birdsong going on all around me. I went out there to leaf through In Certain Circles, to remember why I loved it so. …

Apricot blossom | edge of evening

Full & empty

The days at the moment are both full & empty. Full of things that I want to explore intellectually; empty of definite appointments, except those imposed by the after-school carousel of swimming lessons and football practices and ballet classes. Full of time with the Pip-Pop — walking hand-in-hand to feed the ducks, watching him try to master the balance bike that his big brother used to whiz around on, helping him to hold a pen, watching as he tries to write words with magnetic letters on the fridge; empty of constraint, since most days we are free to do whatever we want to (between 9 & 3, which is obviously a large constraint of its own — and together, also a constraint worth mentioning). It’s good to be back in the rhythm of school this week, but it’s also terrifying to realise that the only thing that normally makes me feel ‘busy’ is the scaffold of the school day. Last week — of course a week of rain — with all three was lovely in …