It was a balmy late afternoon.
The sky was a glowing, washed-out blue. White balls of cotton bobbed about merrily on that sea of blue-ness. Some had coagulated greyly, ponderous with moisture.
It had rained all morning. Steam rose in warm wafts from humid earth under my feet. Somewhere, far off, it was raining again, after a hot and humid pause. The air was resplendent with the aroma of those slaked lands.
The garden was flamboyantly green in the waning, refracted sunlight. The carpet glass really was picking up its reluctant feet after a dank, chilly winter. The roses were bursting forth in an unrestrained riot of spirits. The wild roses- delicate, fragile bunches of deep pinkness- could made your head swim with their heady aroma. The marigolds were on their last leg; the dahlias almost gone.
It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I breathed in the garden, feeling blessedness condensing in moist droplets, deep within my consciousness. How did I get so lucky, I wondered for the umpteenth time! I marveled at my good fortune, one figurative eye cocked warily watching out for the imps who love to snatch the blessedness away the moment you get conscious of it. As I sat on the swing, time sidled by, drop by deliberate drop. Oh, the delicious laziness of it all!
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
My roving eye wandered over the robust jasmine bushes alternating with the roses. The jasmine is flowering, I noted happily.
I blinked in surprise. How could the jasmine be flowering already?! Hadn’t it just finished flowering? It seemed barely a few weeks when I had picked the last crop of fragrant jasmines! And it was here again! Had one year gone by already?! When did that happen? I looked around involuntarily, expecting to find the year slipping away surreptitiously.
Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity.
~ Jean de La Bruyère
An uneasy agitation ruffled my inner placidity rudely. One year over? I asked myself incredulously. Surely there was some mistake! One year couldn’t have gone by so quickly. You’re being idiotic, I told myself sternly.
It wasn’t merely a question of the jasmine flowering. The question was- what did I do, from the time it flowered last, to its new flowering again? Nothing came to mind as I ransacked the many cupboard of my mind. Dear Lord!!
Which year is this? I desperately asked the fleecy balls of white in the sky. You are the time keepers, aren’t you? How can a year have gone by? How come you didn’t shake me awake? Why, just a while ago we enjoyed the season’s first mangoes! It isn’t yet the mango season yet; how can the jasmine start to flower? Does jasmine flower twice a year nowadays?! I glared at the innocuous balls in fury.
As if on cue, I heard a fruit-seller called out, “Mangoes! Sweet mangoes! Season’s first mangoes!”
Oh, perfect! That’s just what I needed!