Standing at my second floor kitchen window, I watched Griswold’s “Crickets’ Moon”* elbow aside the remaining clouds, silvering the midnight garden into luscious patterns. Windows open, rain-wet air lazily pluffing the curtains, bringing in the zephyrs of wet earth, night flowers, and sweet pine.
Looking at the midnight garden from this perspective there was some pattern to the randomness. Once the purvey of the rich, the lawn had been landscaped with a slight roll, Croquet anyone?; ornamental shrubs and trees tastefully positioned. My herb garden grew in the foundation of a long-dissolved gazebo. Large patches of lawn were now wildflower and native place “eco-systems” with stepping stones laid out so you had to dance your way through. Raised beds nestled vegetables; a few experimental heritage seed projects looked shabby next to their modern cousins.
Hedges became brambles, blackberry canes, and firethorn. My first foray into the jungle when I moved in was to rescue an old porch swing from the brambles’ clutches. Also Griswold’s first DYI project: stop the squeals and squeechs; and apply bright coloured paints. You’ve met Griswold, the monster boy who lives upstairs. I’m not sure if he considers me his friend or pet, but we have grown into each other’s lives. Mrs. G. isn’t thrilled; thinks I’m too much of a human influence (they really are a family of monsters), but as I am her go-between for fixes of fossimax, she has relented some. And, to properly socialize him, he attends nightsery school and goes on play-dates with other monsters.
Tonight I hear, not see, his chort-chortling laughter bubbling out his ears. I can imagine his splay-foot dance ankle deep mud back at the “water feature,” with And. And Gumpsion is a new addition to our midnight gardens – the son of Mrs. G.’s supplier of fossimax, he enjoys the darkness too. When not doing deliveries for his father, And is an historical architect, and was sure that, given the age and design of the house, and it’s location, there should be a fountain, fish or lily pond somewhere.
Locating the most probable spot, the two had been merrily mud-larking for several weeks. I stayed out of the mud, looking at designs, solar power, plant life. I was due down with snacks soon. But the Cricket Moon and her namesakes held me at the window a few moments longer. There is magic at midnight in a garden full of love.
* Europeans and Native Americans have names for each full moon. August is the Full Sturgeon Moon. Griswold pointed out that there were more crickets than sturgeons in our midnight garden, so far.
Written for Tale Weaver #83, August 25: Out My Kitchen Window