Last summer brought with it a lot of free time for me. I didn’t tour or play festivals, I just stayed in Manchester and wrote a lot of music. It was the happiest summer I’ve experienced so far, even though I was nursing a bit of heartache. I’m always nursing some kind of heartache though - I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Many a day saw me sat on my front doors step in the sunshine. There is a primary
school across the road from my home and you can hear the little people running about and shouting in their break times. Often I’d read a book or I’d sit there gazing up at the tops of the trees. Sometimes I'd just write or daydream.
There isn't really a garden where I live, but there are some shrubs and a path that leads down to the road. One day I bobbed out to the record shop down the road. It’s a great record shop and I’d often meet with my record collecting friend for a coffee whilst I was out. There is a place that sells plants opposite the record shop. Gardening is something I know little about, but as I passed the plant shop, I came across this rhododendron tree type thing. I was beguiled. It wasn’t a normal kind of love. I didn’t feel that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with it, or that we could make beautiful children together, but nevertheless I think it’s safe to say that I loved it. It had tiny little pink flowers all over it and it was the perfect size and shape. It was for sale at the price of £4.50. I had a fiver in my purse so I bought it and brought it home with me.
For only two days did the little tree accompany me on the door step in the sunshine. It made a wonderful addition to my afternoons and I watered it and found it a lovely pot to sit it. I came down one morning to find it gone. One of two things had obviously happened. Either it had felt emotionally trapped by my affection and decided to run away, or else it had been nicked. I suppose that the latter is the more likely of the two. Maybe someone had seen me with it, smiling and whiling away the hours, become jealous and decided that they wanted it for themselves.
Doubt began to occur in my heart. Was it all for nothing? How can such beauty just
disappear in the blink of an eye? All I’d wanted was to brighten up the doorstep, not just for me, but for everyone who passed by. Some crooked person had ruined all of that. Where was my tree now? In a skip somewhere? On someone else’s doorstep? £4.50 is a price to high for broken hope.
Nevertheless, I became philosophical about the matter. It was the only way. Maybe someone else was spending time with my tree now, but they would never love it in the same way I did. My love was a pure love, not shaken the vicissitudes of life. Even though the tree was gone, my doorstep was all the more lovely for having once housed it. Even though the leaves and the petals were now not visible to me, and I could no longer smell the pink flowers, the memory it made me feely happy. It was never going to stay forever anyway. Maybe, even, I might have become complacent and forgotten to admire it after a while. I would have seen it become old, bitter and withered. In my mind it will forever be young and full of flowers.
Message to the thief. - You might think you’ve got yourself a nice Rhododendron tree for free but you’ll never truly enjoy its beauty.