Connect Hackney

An August morning
By Carron D Adams,
August 11, 2020

Summer is preparing to take her leave. In the 15 minutes since coming out to the garden with my cup of mint tea, the hum of traffic has increased. The world is awake. Those no longer working from home encased in their cars making their way to who knows where. Life goes on.

The garden is green, my brother called it lush. Cherry tomatoes in abundance. These same tomatoes have been a constant source of amusement this summer. Wrongly labelled ‘beef tomatoes’ I quickly realised they were the smallest beef tomatoes known to humanity. They’re sweet and abundant. The air is cool as it occasionally brushes my skin.

The purple hibiscus that lives in a tub has gifted new blooms. The old ones are fading but still beautiful in their own right. Once more I feel the breath of the soft breeze. The hibiscus brings back memories of an August spent with my now 90 year old aunt in New York. I admired them that summer from the bedroom window, amazed at their simple and somehow open beauty. I fell in love with them.

Fast forward my return to the UK. I’ve parked my car in Lidl’s and about to enter the store.
What greets me? The same flowers. I bought four. Only three survived. This year, the year of Covid-19, they’ve thrived like never before. These flowers that link me not only to my aunt, but to the land of my birth, have shown unflinching beauty.

Bees are already about their daily business. This Covid year when Rhona Virus and her cousins have descended uninvited, my little garden has attracted so many bees. I thought bees were simply bees, but like humans, they too have their varieties. This year the hibiscus and fuchsias have been kept company by the white bottomed bumble bee – Bombus lucorum – what a name! These bees have demonstrated what it truly means to be industrious.

From morning to late evening, their welcome presence has been felt in this little garden. From the corner of my eye I notice a spider slowly climbing, ascending, descending. August is a time when I begin to notice them more. Some mornings, a path has to be cleared to walk from the house to the back gate. If not, webs attempt to caress your face and hair. My thoughts are distracted for a moment by the hint of roses. Roses that have bloomed and now wilting due to the ongoing heat. Roses that rarely get their share of water. Still, having been with me more than 25 years, they survive. Resilience personified. Above me a bird silhouetted against the sky glides silently. I hear the soft fall of a dry leaf. On the table beside me sits a garden glove mottled with soil. It poses, palm upwards almost in supplication. A glove that has seen so much this summer.

Beyond the walls of this small sanctuary the noise of the traffic creeps upwards. Next door my neighbour opens her shed door. The lock clinks quietly, then the shuffle of something removed. It’s Tuesday. The garden waste truck has arrived ready to remove the remnants of our summer efforts. At the front of the house my two bags of garden ‘waste’ sit quietly. Waiting.

Carron D. Adams
The above article was originally published in Hackney Senior magazine.
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