In my Oxfordshire garden in 2012 I spelled out my name and my lover’s name with dandelion leaf, pods, seeds, sweet pea tendrils, and anemone.
The neighbor’s horse on the other side of the wall nuzzled me and searched my pockets for fruit as I arranged my foraged love letter. The horse, the wind, and a wayward bee nearly sabotaged the twinning of our names.
This was one of my first romantic overtures to Sean, one of many.
Our names are reminiscent of specimens from a natural history museum; the natural history of our relationship, the tentative beginnings…
True to my tag line “The Wandering Poet” I don’t live in the Oxford house any longer, and have lost the enchanted garden, but there will be more.
For instance, in Florence, from 2015 through 2017, I had a garden of terracotta roof tiles with a view of the neighbors’ laundry drying in the sun. Each day there were new textures and colors, crops harvested into baskets by women in the windows across from mine.
Sean recently built me a custom desk and a swiveling, reclining office chair from scraps of wood and chair parts on hand. He made the chair so I could work on my laptop while gazing out over the incredible green hills. Now we have to say goodbye to all of this, and to each other again.
Again, again, again.
I asked Sean if he would please pack our office in my carry-on luggage when I move back to Italy next month. I can’t imagine living without that chair now. I can lean back all the way, prop my feet up on my desk overlooking these stunning hills and work on my novel in my lap. He said we might be able to fit it into my carry-on luggage, maybe, if we’re lucky.
I can probably swing it if it’s disassembled, he said.
And the view! The desk goes so well with this view, my love. It helps me procrastinate when I’m busy writing. We have to pack the view, too.
True. We’ll get it all in there somehow.
And the sheep. They’re part of the view. But from here they seem super tiny, like little plastic sheep, so they can probably fit in the side pocket of my carry-on or something.
And the sky, because it’s half the view. Oh, and the clouds!
Well the clouds will cushion all the other things, you know?
Well in that case…