Summer In January

Jan 21, 2022

I’m turning 70 in a few weeks, something which my bones are all too pleased to remind me of on a regular basis. Knees, hips, hands, eyes, you name it, all chime in. 

But unless I’m in motion – or looking at myself in the dreaded 10x magnified mirror that is now a necessity to avoid heading out of the house with some kind of horn growing out of my chin – I wouldn’t know that the ravages of time have hit this corpus. In my mind’s eye I am at once 16, 36 and 55, anything but standing on the verge of elderly. 

The other day I decided to make some chicken soup. The bird was in the pot along with a little broth and a bay leaf. I needed some thyme, which grows in abundance between my veggie beds. Dodging the snow, I thought about how just a few months ago this little plot was busting at the seams with all manner of edible goods, nasturtiums included – these nasturtiums, to be exact. I longed to be able to grab a new bouquet to serve as inspiration. In a flash I started deciding what I’d plant next year and where to put everything. I lost all memory of stiff hands and creaky hips or time. I was in a January garden where anything was possible and where aphids and arthritis didn’t exist. 

Like my self-deluded musings it is at times possible to transcend time and space. It is the realm in which Art exists, at once real and imagined. 

There it is possible to till a frost-bound garden bed. There it is possible to be an ageing youngster. 

There it is possible to run on creaking bones.

Painting: Summer In January © Lissa Banks 2022