A dual entry
|An old picture of Louis in the garden.|
My lady and I have had two fine days at our home. Spring is upon us at last and the earth warms in my garden. I was busy, two nights past, turning earth, and lifting it with a fork, to make it ready for new friends, new plants for our garden. They have not long arrived in Spirit, after their earthly time was done, and have lived as tender seedlings in their trays, little things, warm in our greenhouse while the garden slept. Now it nears time for them to spend their days giving beauty to our land. And it nears time for me to be digging, and planting, and moving things, and changing all, and feeling life in every muscle and joint, if I should use such earthly words.
I can see where this is going. Work hard in the garden and need a massage afterward!
You know, jokes aside – I had little memory of that day at Home, save seeing Louis with his garden fork (and in the trusty purple tee-shirt which has become only-for-the-garden wear) and in the greenhouse, with one of those trays of seedlings. They were scraps of memory from when I went outside to see what he was doing, I think. But reading what he's just written brings it all back much more vividly. I can almost feel the physical effort and remember the warmth of him, out there working under the mildest of early spring suns.
My lady was not idle while I dug and worked outside. She was in our kitchen, preparing a feast! I smile, it was not a feast truly, not for many persons, but it was a feast for us, because of several things. She has not cooked a pie before, not with making it all, the pastry and the meat, from the beginning. I have made the pastry before, when we have cooked together, but this day she did all. How fine a dish it was! It was venison, meat so tender, and as persons know, it was from no death, for such is not the way of Spirit: those with the skill make meat from the stuff of life. A butcher's job is a finer thing than one might think, on the earthly plane!
But I ramble, it is not necessary. We had this most fine dish, and with it new potatoes, and baby peas, such as I have always loved. In my earthly days I grew them in my garden, in my chateau of Versailles, and sold them for markets, those I did not wish for myself. It was a good pleasure to take, in my days as king. And now we ate of our dish, and ate with great pleasure, all these new things. Sweeter it was, to eat what was made with love, and to eat when the body of Spirit wished food as ever much the body of Earth did!
Alas, I didn't remember any of that. I had to ask Louis about it in Fawkner Park the next morning, on the way to work. It was a little like taking dictation now, when he's telling you about our days, but even more fleeting – images and feelings rather than words. (And I tell you, writing this at lunchtime when my boss keeps wanting to tell me jokes is not easy!)
But did get a sense of the pie, or rather of the meat. I've never eaten venison here. It's an exotic meat in Australia – which is to say, deer are no more native than sheep and cattle – and even if it were available, or affordable, where I'm likely to buy or eat, I feel very dubious about the idea. Spirit venison is the ultimate faux-meat, tasting better than the “real” thing, I suspect!
No need to imagine baby peas or new potatoes. The greens are Louis's favourite, but I'll take the potatoes any time! It was a substantial lunch we ate – a feast indeed – and we didn't bother about dinner that day. Louis hasn't mentioned it, but he'd also been busy working on the wardrobe, before he went into the garden. He certainly earned his meal, and I loved getting the sense of his pleasure and surprise when he sat down to eat. He hadn't known I was making a pie! I think I was pleasantly surprised, too. Cooking hasn't lost its novelty over There (it's never had any here: my idea of cooking here is freezer-to-microwave-to-plate and dinner out of the way in fifteen minutes so I can be doing something else).
Last earthly night, in our day at Home, my lady and I did not work in our garden, or in our house, for we had the pleasure of loving company in my sister Henriette, and her beloved Charles, and their dogs, whom they brought to play with ours, now that the snow is gone. We heard their dog-laughter inside our house, while they played and chased about outside, and took themselves then to the woods, to explore all things as dogs do.
It was a gentle day, but colder, and we did not spend much time outside, but sat instead indoors, and talked of things in the family, and pleasures we had had, and things seen. My lady and I did take our brother and sister to see our new garden begin, but my sister said she was not there to help me with my gardening and would leave that to my wife. I smile, my sister is a firework and always has been. She was laughing when first I saw her, in her infancy.
One thing I must say of what we talked about. Charles said that he has found art we have not seen. It is like a gallery, it is new, and of great beauty. I believe my lady and I will have to visit this place, for he was full of pleasure in recounting it. My beau-frere is a quiet man, but his spirit glowed when he spoke of this. Art was ever his great love, more so far than mine, and it is still so.