Back from Melbourne: work and fun. Seeing friends I've not seen for three years, meeting their kids, drinking and talking late into the night, shocked and unsurprised that distance and time can't alter the ease of our connection. And especially, tramping into Tambo's rose paddock, with hundreds of plants in straight lines, snipping armfuls of over-blown, luscious, bold and refined flowers, snipping in the drizzle for half an hour without guilt or cost and then carrying them into the elegant little farmhouse and stuffing vases to stare at, in awe of such abundance and thankful to be part of it. Roses are always best on a kitchen table, to sit by the tea and gossip.
Holidays are a time to drink from the well. I once thought this meant lovely meals in expensive restaurants and shopping in big cities; but really, it's sitting quietly in the lives of old friends, remembering their rhythms and savoring their joy.
Yesterday the girls and I went into the garden and picked the first jonquils, which have popped up under the apple trees. Then into the kitchen where Lu and Nell created some elegant arrangements.
And now the smell pulls me back to an oval in the Western District of Victoria in the early 1980s, bounded by thickets of these flowers, discovered by Nicole and me as we rode our bikes around the town.
Today Lucy smelled a rose and murmured, transported, "Aaah, it smells like salami. So lovely".