Gardening by Moonlight

During the hot summer months she could not sleep, tossing and turning. That night, she woke at four and it was impossible to go back to sleep. She realised that the light of the full moon was shining through a gap in the curtains, making the room as bright as day. She got up and looked at her garden. It was transformed by the silver light into something magical and strange.

She slipped quietly downstairs and put on the kettle to make some tea. She picked up her steaming mug and opened the outside door. At once she felt that she could really breathe, filling her lungs with cool, clean air. After several long, dry hot days she had felt dessicated, tired and irritable.

The lawn was dewy and soft under her bare feet as she walked to a bench at the end of the garden. She looked up at the sky. The moon was a pale golden colour and to the east she could just see that the sky had slightly lightened.

There was not a sound – silence like balm to her overactive brain. She sipped her tea and looked around. The moonlight lit the surface of her pond, reflecting back the light. She felt that the plants were sighing with relief – refreshed by dew and living their secret, hidden lives. The shadows under and between the plants seemed mysterious.

The large white rambling rose had almost finished flowering – but there was still a faint, sweet scent in the air. That branch needs pruning back, she thought.

She got up and went to fetch her secateurs. Perhaps the geraniums could do with a chop – it might encourage them to flower again later in the season. She tidied up the ivy which was encroaching the trellis, and tied up a stray piece of clematis. She was careful as she walked, snails were on the lawn, hydrating. “ I know how you feel”, she said.

The light from the east grew stronger and the moon had continued its journey across the sky. She stretched and yawned. She had filled the wheelbarrow with snippings. Back inside she put her secateurs on the shelf and went up to bed. She was soon deeply asleep.

She woke late to see her son standing by the bed. “Why”, he said,” are your feet dirty and there is a leaf in your hair?”

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