Dawn was just breaking when I sauntered into our garden, having woken up earlier than usual on that Sunday morning. Since the paperboy was not due for another hour, I picked up a lawn chair and made myself comfortable under our neat and tidy bamboo grove, settling down to savour the early morning quiet.
Although we had tended the garden lovingly over the years – the gnarled hands of our old gardener reaching every nook and cranny, every bed and bramble – we had seldom had the time to really enjoy our garden, given the demands of daily living. It had become just another part of our home.
The buzz of a bee close by caught my attention. I found myself drawn towards its simple antics. One moment he would hover lazily over the blooming carnation, the next, he would bob up and down in frenzy and, as suddenly, dash off to the nearby bed of tiny purple flowers bordering a paved walkway. The bougainvillaea blooming over it formed a canopy in a riot of colours. A veil of gossamer web, stretched across clumps of its bright red flowers, glinted in multiple hues catching the first crimson rays of the sun.
Settling back more comfortably in the chair, I panned my gaze languidly towards the sky. Clumps of fluffy white clouds stood out like freshly picked cotton against the azure sky, tinged with multiple shades of crimson lower down.
A sudden gust of wind rustled the leaves overhead, dislodging a few dry ones, some corkscrewing their way down, while others rocked themselves down at a more leisurely pace, settling finally on the thick green carpet below. Helped by the cold night air, dew had formed on the blades of grass that glinted now like so many gems as the rays of the rising sun came in more obtusely from the east.
It was not long before butterflies made their appearance, drawn by the flowers, some of them in raised beds, in full bloom during this time of the year, while the perennials bordered the walls a little behind. A pair of pale yellow butterflies flitted across the grass in tandem towards the rose bush in a corner. Suddenly, a humming bird appeared, hovering in mid air among the pink gerbera. A pair of Mynahs then drifted in and settled on the grass. One darted along the hedge chasing some fleeing insect while the other hopped over the wet grass. Our garden was quietly feeding so many species!
The lawn was now awash in pale sunlight. Another easterly gust swept in and I felt the caress of the breeze on my cheek and the mild warmth of the sun on my skin. While I soaked in the earthly aromas I sensed a rare kind of bonding with the garden that seemed to rekindle my spirits. Indeed I felt as though nature was nudging my soul. Nature’s peace seemed to flow into me and the breeze seemed to blow its own freshness – just as sunshine flowed into the garden and the long yellow strips created shifting patterns on the lush green turf like geometric designs on a fabric.
Suddenly the garden appeared to take on an ethereal quality. Soaking in the scene, completely relaxed, all tension eased out of my body, I felt as if I had been touched by an angel, as though for a few moments I was connected somehow with the whole universe and everything in it. I felt tranquil and peaceful, at the same time somehow energised. A sense of happiness and well-being seemed to wash all over me.
“You appear so relaxed and happy,” that was my wife who had walked into the garden.
“I think I have been touched by an angel,” I said.
I was proved right as the day panned out…for it was an exceptionally happy and fulfilling day.