We hit the ground with a bit of a thud on our return home last night, as together we surveyed the damage the recent flood had wrought on both our garden and the structure of our Peaceful Home. Dead plants and lawn, and large cracks up to a centimetre in width greeted us at every turn. Doors won't close, the hall arch is propped at an alarming angle and there are little piles of telltale dust everywhere. And no, our insurance does not cover flood damage, and yes, we have checked. There is not a room without injury, and great swathes of our garden will need to be replanted. Meh.
Still it is not all doom and gloom. The freesias are still scenting the front garden with their old fashioned perfume, and the bunch I gathered is freshening the sitting room. The two Lorraine Lee roses that smother the garage have begun flowering. The oranges are ripe and the bowlful on the kitchen table fills me with happy spring feelings. There are pots of pansies everywhere. And joy of joy, the pear trees are in wonderful exuberant abundant bloom. Oh how I do love pear blossom.
There is the wonderful smell of bread baking in the oven, an orange cake cooling on the counter, and Chicken Korma on the stove. There are freshly laundered sheets fluttering on the line, Colin McPhee's Tabuh-Tabuhan playing merrily on the iPod and piles of enticing new books on the coffee table. Audrey the poodle lies asleep on a zabuton in the sun, happy to be home. The colours of my ripply crochet blanket look much brighter in the spring sunshine, and there are fresh flowers in every room. Friends are on their way over to join us for the evening.
As I look around me I can't help but feel incredibly blessed and happy to be here.
It's so true, isn't it - be it ever so humble (and crumbly), there's no place like home.