Wonderful to relate, we have found the first bloom upon our wisteria. Everyone knows these astonishingly beautiful climbers take years to bring forth their cascading flowers; that planting one is more like an act of faith in the future; a generous deed, done more for those who come after us than for ourselves. Although it is a small, inchoate celebration, sight of this unexpected flash of bluish-purple came, as it were, out of the blue, as Kemo Sabe and I stood at the bottom of the garden, looking and listening intently, trying to identify the whereabouts of the thrush which sings so splendidly and so expansively as the day hours roll.
Our wisteria has been with us a long time and been through a lot. Given by a friend, it lived for years in a pot beside a Victorian front door a yard or two from a busy main road, untended for the most part, save for a bit of securing with string as it gradually reached up for cleaner air. Uncles Jonny and NuNu, and then Barnaby when he came along, pushed past it on their way in and out from their trips to the cemetery, unaware of the possibility that it would prove worthy of admiration one day. Even a much younger Jeoffry merely saw it as one of the many markers of his home, when he languidly made his way back from the railway line or next-door’s garden.
But this year, its roots now deep in the earth, after several Northumbrian winters and many an amazing wind the like of which the dear creature never knew in London, the life-force has stirred in it and it has extended its aristocratic hand, albeit shyly. Leave well alone, they say, and so we have; we wait to see what more there is in store, silently unravelling beneath the speckled songster, singing still as I write this.