This week's Wicked Wednesday theme has been blessedly preceded by a solid five days of glorious sunshine and we have been beavering away preparing our little patch of land. We wait impatient through March every year for the night time temperature to rise enough to mean we can fill the spa pool. A massive indulgence a few years ago, it is a lifeline for us as a place of relaxation in the evening, and we often use it nightly into November. It isn't just the warm water, although that is lovely, but it is it's placement. Our Garden.
My home is full of messy, exuberant life. The living room is lego filled, the dining room a classroom and office, the kitchen feeds up to eight several times a day. Technology and screens beep and buzz and spew blue light. Despite our best efforts, bedrooms are multipurpose spaces and squeezed out is space for our intimacy. But we do not accept that. We’ve made space. Hidden it in plain sight, just for us.
The British may be a nation of gardeners, but in these first truly warm days of spring we have worked on ours with passion. Trees are pruned and pinned to espalier our boundary fences, sweet peas, honeysuckle, jasmine and roses tended and fed. Pale silver leaves flutter high on airy branches, deceiving the eye without casting shadow. Our bower is created.
Careful gardening has grown leafy walls between us and our neighbours’ windows. Night scented flowers make the twilight world heavy with perfume. The stillness, the utter peace of the garden at night gives us space to relax and safely be ourselves.
Giggling like school children we shed our clothes in the kitchen and then leave the chaos behind for the moon-kissed night, stripped of our expectations of each other we are just us, man and woman, Adam and Eve. Breeze swirls and bats swoop low over the cushions and blankets or steaming water where we lie. We touch.
Here, there is time and space for touch. Skin to skin we apologise and forgive, sustain and affirm, feed and be fed without a word spoken. Brick warmed air kisses our nakedness and ruffles our hair. The blanket of darkness pierced by moon-white brilliance gives tired limbs an ethereal beauty. The peace breathes life and we channel it into each other.
Arousal is slow and easy because here we can be unhurried and unharried. Just us. Bodies and minds re-synchronising internally and with each other. An hour or two or who knows, because time is irrelevant. This is rest and restoration.
Creatures come and go without heeding us. The snuffling hedgehog and screaming foxes give us more freedom, covering for us when pulses pound with heat and need and we shatter our own silence. Mostly though, we are silent, an escape from the noise of life and in deference to the dog-walkers on the pavement feet from our hideaway.
We are not ashamed. Bodies pressed together in our own sliver of the universe, part of its organic synergy. We watch the stars and they watch us and we are all where we need to be.
Creeping up to bed, before the first child wakes and searches out an intimacy of their own between our bodies, we have feasted on the wonder of nature. Replete and whole, we believe we can sustain our family through whatever imperfections and challenges the day brings.
For all the talk about “me” time, we have created a physical and mental space where “us” is the central theme. When we enjoy and tend it in the daytime, we are preparing it for each other, even as it brings joy in other ways. The hub of our home. Our garden.