Walnut Tree

Today Amy had a rehearsal for her Grade 4 ABRSM singing exam at a private mansion. The owner will be Amy’s pianist tomorrow. She’s in her eighties and is absolutely terrified of getting coronavirus. She had all sorts of precautions in place, including a footprint she’d drawn on the floor where Amy should stand – there and nowhere else. I realise singing is classed as a dangerous activity in these crazy times, but I was surprised at how worried she was. I wasn’t even allowed in the building.

It was a nice day so I sat in a chair in the enormous garden. After a few minutes I decided to go for a walk. The garden was large, disappearing invitingly into the distance. A manicured lawn with wavy edges and dwarf apple trees dotted here and there. I noticed an overgrown path leading around the edge, and followed it all the way to the bottom of the garden where it was overgrown. There were piles of grass clippings, dead branches and nettles, and several other trees, one of which was a walnut, laden with fruit. I reached up and gently loosened one from it’s green-brown husk. I’ve had walnuts straight from a tree before. They’re oily and soft, nothing like the dry, dusty specimens you get at supermarkets. When the rehearsal was finished and the pianist and Amy emerged, I mentioned I’d seen the walnuts. I was secretly hoping she’d offer to let me have some, but she seemed almost annoyed that I’d discovered them. She said that they weren’t ripe yet and she’d be collecting them later. We showed ourselves out.

So much bright, warm beauty. It gladdens the heart. I’d love a garden like that. But I’d share my walnuts.

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