It may sound somewhat obvious, but it was not until I sat in our warehouse in Swansea this afternoon, cloistered at my old desk, signing books for customers, that I paused for a short moment, looked up and realised how quiet it was there, how calm. None of the frenetic energy of London. Just good people going about their day, their life. And then back here to home (this is the view from our bedroom window) and it is quieter still. The early sun has given way to greying skies, subtle fine rain on and off and a bleakish, but soft, spring wind. Just now I went out into the garden to pluck some growth from the overgrown and toppling kale, Brussels and flowering tops plants. Across the valley, about a mile away, came creaking/barking cry of flying geese. Nearer, in a bush, was a single robin, melodious and sweet. A dog barked. I plucked and plucked sprout after sprout and filled my colander to the brim.
This will be supper. Flash steamed/sautéed in a pan until just on the edge of softness. Perhaps dressed with sherry vinegar and a good peppery olive oil and then a generous, fine grating of Parmesan. Depending on hunger, I may mix in some Puy lentils, cooked with a little onion and a umami something (soy, miso or such). Perhaps a little chilli too. I can't decide now. Serve it up hot.
It's only in this quietness that I feel my mind expand, calm and release and I notice how much I have been holding against the clamour and noise.
'And in the midst of this wide quietness / A rosy sanctuary will I dress / With the wreathed trellis of a working brain, / With buds, and bells, and stars without a name .....' Keats