Yellow poppy


This optimistic flower appears in late spring in one of my favourite gardens, a mystical semi-wild farm- house plot in Borrowdale, the most beautiful valley in the whole Lake District. When we arrive there are huge clear blue skies – in fact remark- able weather, which is coaxing the old garden into life. The day is humid and although I am intrigued to look up at Base Brown and think of climb- ing it, hanging out in the overgrown back garden is what my heart is cling- ing to, then a swim in the river with the boys. I lean up against the wall and touch the soft yellow flowers. The fell will still be there tomorrow.

My memories of past Lake District holidays are all about rain and intensely green and tangled cottage gardens that suggest a
thin layer between this world and other, more magical ones. But on this night we make a fire and sit drinking beer and looking up at the giant, now murky, fell, and our faces glow brightly as the boys run through the field in some kind of fantasy adventure game with sticks. The poppies open up to the warmth of the Spring but are also somewhat bedraggled by the cold winds moving through the valley. I sense the presence of a powerful local nature goddess. I feel like these flowers when I’m with her – buffetted and a bit bedgraggled by the gusts of what life cannot be, but still glowing and optimistic at the warmth of what life is.