…the last great day of May


It is the last day of May and we gather in the garden beneath the high sun, some of us meeting for the first time, some already old friends.  Once we’ve eaten the collected treasures of olives and cheeses and harmonies of chocolate, we untangle ourselves to the drowsy lane, down to where we cross the stile and snake through the field that takes us to the meadow where the buttercups shimmer in their melting powdery yellow.  We divert for a time to the shade of the woods, finding ancient beech trees and a trunk to loiter and rest, letting the group catch up with itself and cool pink-tinged skin.  When we snake back down to the meadow the heat feels lush and buttery, so we lounge on blankets at a clearing beside the river until again the heat pulses us beneath the trees and a wooded river bank where we pull off our shoes and let the dappled river sharpen our senses, swishing our dusty feet or meditating or hanging from trees to let our feet dangle or dipping giant leaves to see how the water turns mercury-silver.  When we eventually emerge from this dreamless siesta the mayflies are dancing in the glow of late afternoon.  We stand amongst the tall grasses and look up.  Above us the mayflies rise in a flutter… pause… and drift back down… rise up… pause… drift down… rise up… pause… drift down… a fairy performance of filigreed wings against the infinite blue sky.  They are still dancing when we leave, this last great day of May.

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