Learning To Lie Under TreesI had watched the Hispanic gardening crews do it last summer, lie under the trees in the shade over the course of their lunch break, not a proper siesta but enough of a one to get through the rest of the heated afternoons.
For the part of the summer that I was here anyway. After a few hours hard labour in our own yard, or garden as we English prefer to call it, I was doing the same. Flouting the unwritten rules of the middle class white collar neighbourhood we had settled in, “though shall not laze about in the front yard”, an unseemly thing to do, on this warm spring day. Even worse since I was lazing on our unfed, unpesticided grass, underlining my obvious differences once again.
I had my eyes closed, allowing my ears to be the main source of stimulation, the nearest and gentlest sound being the mellow lazy chirping of a cricket, a noise to soothe the soul or would have been, if not for the middle range hum of a hedgetrimmer or a blender, one of those inventions that over the course of the last century had appeared to make surburban life easier and at the same time, louder.
The loudest and most insistent noise the snarling whine of a bi-plane overhead, screaming for attention like a toddler deprived of a toy. After it has circled for what must have been four times, I give in, I open my eyes and look upwards, my eyes wishing to reassure the rest of me, that there is an ob
It is soon replaced by the distant vibrations created by an aloof jet plane, not caring if you pay it attention or not, it’s sole purpose to get from a to b as quickly as possible.
It fades out over a much smaller time fr
I watch the birds, two (American) robins and a mockingbird, the robins eyeing everything nervously, on alert, ready to be ambushed, not settling to their hunt for food for even a moment. The mockingbird is head down in the scalped grass, taking advantage of the shortness to pounce on any insect that comes across it’s path, until a shadow or some other unseen thing, startles it and it flies off, the loud harsh chirrup of its alarm call following in its wake.
It lands on the faux gatepost of the neighbours house across the road, it’s noise continuing, indignant at the disturbance.
The breeze comes, running over my skin, raising goose pimples, carrying the scent of the patch of chocolate mint plants, that grow around the side of the house, trailing in its wake the memory of sitting there, crushing the leaves between my fingers, as I sat there listening to his far distant voice, digtalised and beyond my reach, at the end of last summer.