Inspired by Nina Sankovitch’s nostalgic account of childhood summers, hot sunny days, blue skies, lazy hours lying on the grass, looking up at the sky, I did just that, this morning at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Which, by the way, is one of my most favourite destinations in Cape Town.

It was magical. I found a secluded lawn, fringed by a couple of acacia trees with thick foliage, and I carefully lowered myself on to the grass. Old ladies with hip replacements don’t get down to grassroot level as easily as they used to do, let me tell you. I used my floppy sunhat as a pillow and lay back. Gazing up at the cloudless blue sky, through the delicate leaves , listening to distant voices, listening to birds calling, insects buzzing and whirring around in the undergrowth, and – for once – only a very distant hum of traffic. Do you know how difficult it is to be outdoors in an urban, or peri-urban area, and not hear any traffic? Practically impossible. In fact, I have been out in the veld, with no houses or people anywhere near, and you can still hear the sound of vehicles from distant roads and highways.

The grass was thick and lush, and mercifully free of inquisitive ants. Not that I have anything against ants, but they do tickle when they start exploring. I lay there, enjoying the changes in the air , enjoying the respite from days of blustering winds. Today the air was gentle and warm, followed by short bursts of cooler air – perhaps it was an adventurous sea-breeze that had drifted over the top of Table Mountain from Hout Bay. Every now and again there’d be a brief whiff of warm, humid air carrying with it the rank odour of decay: maybe a deceased lizard, or a rat, quietly mouldering in the surrounding bushes.

It’s very relaxing lying on thick lawn grass on a bright, warm sunny morning, gazing up at the sky. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, for a change. My mind was happily blank – the occasional vague thought drifting through, but nothing too taxing.

We should all do this a great deal more often. I highly recommend it.




10 responses to “LYING ON THE GRASS

  1. Charlotte

    Lovely! I have a space like that in my garden. I don’t lie on the grass but sit on a bench which is on the grass shaded by a beautiful Camelia tree. Although I am on a busy street, this space in my garden is completely secluded. Despite the traffic, it is calm and peaceful – a different world.
    I reward myself as often as i can by going there to read or write.
    After reading your blog, bugger everything, I’m taking a book and going to sit in that wonderful spot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahh, that sounds like bliss… I think I’m going to go and lie on the grass in the back garden now, Alison. Perhaps I’ll even be joined by my kitty-cat.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely! I could almost breath that air, see those leaves against the blue, perhaps helped by memories of that sometimes heaven. Your writing is very good indeed, Alison. Terrific in fact. More please!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is so beautiful! I remember taking a long walk with sofagirl, marvelling at the beauty of it all. Lying on the grass reminds me of my childhood, and summers in the country spent doing just that. And taking it all for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful! I enjoyed Nina’s book also!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved this and I really delighted in the bit about the ants: the scourge of relaxing in Africa.

    Liked by 1 person

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