A parasol creaks as slowly as old bones, its flaking spine gently twists in the tables grasp. Air as hot as bedside breath trails through the yard, almost visible in its density. Occasionally it picks up fine particles of dust and dances them into stillness. It does not have the energy for the paper thin hay which lies undisturbed in the gully, threads unwanted for the wrens nest which sits on a work worn beam in the barn. From the circular entrance lemon yellow mouths gape like strange fruits only to melt silently into the shadows when unlaced boots scuff by.
The lid of the teapot clatters and jumps like a caught fish on the aga but I shake my head at the offer of tea preferring to slake my thirst with shade. I make my way around the old cow shed and run my hand along the stone, grateful for its coolness I rest my head against it at the gate and look out into the orchard. Once this would have been full of ripening fruits but the aged trees have succumbed over the years and only a few remain. Even the chicken shed is empty and without hope of more as the hands that tend this place age into fragility.
I take a while to stare out at the grass, left long enough to flower and seed. The swallows are the only ones brave enough to take on the day as they swoop and chatter, catching lunch on the wing.
There is something about these times that allows nostalgia in but as the day draws on the lines blur and I find myself staring out at a landscape not of my own memory but one where scythes are sharpened in readiness, baskets await a harvest and small hands race sticks down the orchard stream. No not my memories but perhaps those of the land itself as it seeps into sepia before my eyes.
Author - Lucy
A painter & needle sculptor creating creatures with a tale to tell and a song in their heart.