The same season, the same month, the same small, Northern country.
Taking the time to acknowledge this variation in tone, light, scent, weather, impression.
If we are the one then we are/can be also equally the other, or our own hybridities.
Thanks to some crossed wires, D and I thought we would be viewing a flat off the Royal Mile today (turns out ‘next Monday’ was the Monday after next). It happened that the flat overlooks Dunbar’s Close Garden, a beautiful, peaceful courtyard modeled along a traditional 17th century Burghal design – somewhat Italianate, with herbs and hedges arranged in symmetry, surrounded on all sides by old town houses and walls. While we were walking, we noticed a few visitors, obviously locals, popping in to have their lunch, escaping the bustle of the Canongate outside. They sneaked out as slyly as they arrived, glaring a little. Obviously intruders are rare beasts here.
We moved further into the garden, cold in the sun, the air full of the smell of sage, I think, or young rosemary.
I hope you’ll forgive me for flooding this post with images. And if you are a native Edinburgher, forgive me for giving this sort-of secret away. Perhaps you’d like more? If you’ve never heard of the garden and you are still more in need of images, Vivian Swift has a lovely post on Dunbar’s Close garden, and the site, Nothing to See Here gives a little more background of how this place came to be made.
We really hope that the flat near here works out (find out next Monday, all being well), although two more viewings, both in distinct parts of the city, have been added to the list. One, we struck off later in the afternoon – another damp ground floor flat to the South. Onwards though. It’s easy to keep our spirits up in Spring, with still more to see, more disappointments and small joys, ahead.
In keeping, one last sight today. Up a little way from Dunbar’s Close is a whisky shop. Walking home, we saw this old gent sunning himself by the malts:
He shuffled himself down on his four paws, quite ready for a good long snooze. And home it was for us, to rest (though sadly not to write, with my head fuzzy with a bad cold) and to plan.
On the weekend D and I went for another walk through City the New Town down almost all the way to where the the Water of Leith (which we visited back in the winter, as it flows through the Dean Village) opens out into the Firth of Forth. Here are just a few pictures from the first part of the journey, where flowers were rampant. A bit of calm, after yesterday’s madness.
The days that seemed as if they would never come in the midst of the dank cobble, the white-sky, ice-blue sky winters, are finally here. An excess of budding, of life returning, though the air is still sweet and cold even in the sunshine.
Even as I hope for time to pass, for news on my first book, for progress in my second, there is this: nature, slowly and in spurts, vividly following the cycle of the year. Daylight stretches out – dark now only after a long gloaming, past eight thirty pm – I will wait. I will pay attention.
Hope is easier in Spring.