Summer’s almost here, but I don’t feel like I’ve given Spring enough love this year. It has been such a whirlwind of happenings and changes and recovery-from-freeze projects (Oh My!) that the Glover Gardens blog went on a two-month hiatus, during which time Spring came and then mostly went.
So I wanted to say goodbye to this most welcome of seasons with a quiet little story. It’s a story of a Spring afternoon and evening that felt like a Coming Out of COVID milestone, a few happy hours spent with another couple, the first time we had been to a friend’s house for dinner in more than a year.
Nancy and David hosted us in late April. All fully vaccinated by then, we still felt a little awkward at first as we exchanged fervent it’s-been-too-long embraces, then held those hugs a little longer and a little tighter than we would have pre-2020. The weather was classic Spring, temperate and pleasant, where you can barely feel a light coolness on your skin but never get cold, and we had red wine and conversation al fresco, by a giant vitex tree laden with lilac blooms.
We talked of many things to get caught up. Some of the updates were sad, some laced with optimism and hope and some just plain funny. I hope I told fascinating stories and shared witty, sparkling anecdotes, but alas, I remember also saying, at least thrice, “can you believe we’re with people? can you believe we’re here in person? isn’t this amazing?” as though I’d been up on the Space Station for 3 years or something.
Then we were ushered inside for a delightful meal. The table was set simply, and beautifully, with freshly cut roses from just outside. When someone takes care in setting a table to make it pretty for you, you feel really pampered. The early evening sun streaming in through the west-facing window gave the table an enchanting, magical feel. I had to snap a couple of pics with my iPhone, because I knew I would be sharing about this evening of emancipation from the long winter of our discontent here in the blog.
Nancy served us excellent Indian food, the highlight of which was her homemade butter chicken. She made it from the New York Times recipe called Slow Cooker Butter Chicken. It is a subscriber-only recipe but you can find it if you Google. This dish had just the perfect balance of richness and spice and I’m not too proud to say that both the Grill-Meister and I had seconds. I think you would have, too.
The evening passed too quickly, and soon it was time to go. I will always think about that evening with friends as our coming out party. Coming out of COVID constraints and back into the welcoming arms of friends and the larger world. Coming out of a long, silent austerity into the startlingly lush experience of in-person conversation with another couple outside of our bubble. Sitting down to break bread (or na’an, actually) with others seems to fulfil a primeval communal need. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Nancy and David. I wish I had thought to take pictures of you!
And while we are relieved to get back to a more normal existence, that isn’t happening yet for many areas in the world. I fervently pray for your coming out party to happen soon.
Finally, goodbye to you, Spring of 2021. You brought much-needed change. To celebrate you, and that magical evening with Nancy and David, here’s a haiku.
spring in ev’ry sense beckoning blooming vitex lavender respite
Summer, you’ve got a hard act to follow!
© 2021, Glover Gardens