Summertime is Revival

Sitting in bed and feeling guilty about it, but it is nearly the ending of my visits and a day of nothing to do but packing and a dinner party tonight, so I’m going to write about gardens and food again, and I’m sorry, but I have to.

Yesterday we drove for an hour through villages and one-lane roads to have a lunch. One of the couple was a famous now retired actor, and his husband was the kind of person people who have estates and titles, with lots of important and valuable things, would hire to archive, a very specific job I would give my right foot to have.

When we walked in the door, the first room was dimly cold (on purpose un-heated, just the entrance) and there, right there, was a table of truly interesting rocks and shells, exactly what I do on my surfaces that my friends are kind enough not to make me feel bad about. My out-loud joy has made me a new heart’s companion; Michael and I wandered around the old mill, now remarkable house, and then we sat down to a crab pie and a salad with young lovage from their massive garden. Desert was ‘a proper custard’ and pink rhubarb. Champagne or their apple juice to drink.

Borrowed rubber boots for a long walk in the gardens before the watery sun set.

The hills of Wales have been misty and rainy and very quiet; the orchard was blossoms and wet bees; Christoper said they’d bought the two fields beyond to bring them back over the years from overgrazing and were now full of the original wildflowers and that he’d laid down in one last summer, and didn’t fall asleep because the bees were so loud…

So much in bloom, so many plants in much better shape than mine. When I get home, there will be a severe lecture.

This England. I have been given it back. I have been taken in and cherished for who we were for each other in California a hundred years ago, the things we are really good at that where I live now, no-one can know. We did not re-connect; we have just resumed our ways as though our last conversation was a day or two ago, Carinthia exhibiting her photographs and doing interviews and a documentary about her, and Julia a successful novelist, me singing here and there, in-between hours of driving to one heavenly place and then another and another, to the civilized and the wild.

It is spring, and all is new again. Please go outside and begin again. Come inside and begin again. Go to sleep in whatever bed you have, awaken and begin again. Come back, and then please go on, and begin again. It will be your most beautiful summer if you do. It will.


  • Renee Armand

    Singer, songwriter, and poet Renee Armand, born in Los Angeles, was discovered by Tony Bennett in her twenties and now lives on a 19th-century working farm outside Nashville. She spent years touring the world with John Denver, has released four albums, and sang the Oscar-winning song "The Morning After."

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