There are two golden balls of light sitting where I step into the garden. Their black faces grin impishly at me as I join them in their worship of the sun, feathery orange hair reminding me of the gollywog, (so non p.c. these days) that used grace the label of the marmalade jar on my mother’s breakfast table.
But these are blossoms of light, not darkness. Grown from seed by a neighbour who last year found a similar, but of a long-stemmed variety, dropped no doubt by a truly feathered friend as he feasted on her bird table in her carefully tended flower bed. I could see it from my window during a period of convalescence, and praised it in poetry in our local journal. She never commented on this – if indeed she saw it – but out of the blue left these two new babes-in-the-sun on my doorstep with a little card three weeks ago.
Nice things like this have happened a lot in the past few months. Unexpected words of appreciation, tokens of friendship; a phone call just to say Hello!; a flower-pot carefully painted with a much loved line, “When I am old I will wear purple, with a red hat”; a totally out-of-the-“blue pressie from town” which kept me company last night as I viewed a light romantic film on tv.
Like the balls of light in my garden, these gestures lift my spirits, fill me with respect for people who take the trouble to show their friendship and love, and make me want to go on living forever. They smile into the bleaker hours and dissipate the short spells of gloom. Their feathery touch is complementary, not invasive; and they reflect the warmth that showers down.