It was a warm but chilly day. There were shimmers of sunlight making their way through the clouds. I was sitting outside in the sun because I hadn’t been out all day and I needed some sun and fresh air. My cat has been sitting outside all day and his fur is rather warm as I stroke him whilst he sits beside me. The oak trees at the back of our garden, while they usually tend to block out the sun in the garden, at this time in the afternoon, they don’t. The trees rustle in the wind while the birds tweet and squawk at each other. I laugh to myself as one bird sounds like a monkey. The sun brightens up a bit and I can no longer see my laptop screen as I type blindly. Five minutes apart, a car passes behind the garden playing loud music and disturbing the neighbourhood, and then an ice cream truck plays its tune.
A drill starts up in someone’s back garden and then a dog barks in quick succession. We have a fish pond in our garden, and the water goes through the filter pipes steadily and constantly to clean the pond. It’s quite a relaxing sound. I could watch the fish all day, they’re so calm. I look up to the clouds – typical England. Will we ever have a proper summer? The clouds move fast, though, and I hope there is more sun on the way but I doubt it. I think about the clouds and how we perceive them to be quite close to earth, but they are miles up in the sky, floating, and it’s a wonder how so much water can be kept afloat in the air. But they have to fall at some point. For one sparing moment, the sun warms the side of my face. A bird soars over me and creates a shadow.
There’s an ant on the table carrying food and I think to myself that it’s quite amazing how they can carry that much weight. I hear a plane and I wonder where they may be going, what kind of people are on that plane, what their lives consist of… are they running away or returning home? A fat pigeon creeps into the garden, and a fly buzzes past my ear and I jump out of my skin. I hate bugs.
An ant rushes around on the floor and I think how small they are compared to planes. An ant thinks the garden is gigantic, and they might not ever leave. The largest thing we know is the universe; we can travel anywhere we want in the world and the garden is an ant’s entire world. I blur my eyes and just watch the ants as they do their duty to the ant queen and how an ant leaves its home only to look for food to bring back to its home. It’s all they will ever know.
A bus passes on the road behind our garden – there’s a bus stop right outside, which is convenient – and I snap out of my existential crisis. TAP. A snail shell falls from underneath the garden table and I wonder if it has been there the entire time. I think it’s time for me to go back inside, but I walk around the garden fo a minute and I hear the leaves as they are crushed under my shoes.