Midsummer. The longest day of the year. The one day in England where I can rejoice from the first twinkle of light to the very last, knowing I am as safe from the days of darkness as I will be all year. And what did fair befall me today, but the most worthy, most perfect summer’s day.
And where could we go, but where we have been so happily before? One of my favorite places in England, Shakespeare Country. (See previous posts: Day out: Mary Arden Farm, Uncertain glory of a summer day, Snapshot: pigs!, Respite, Day out: Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, That in season grows. Heck, I even used a photo of the cottage as an example of my fantasy home when we were first house hunting.)
The cottage was looking extremely well.Presided over by the King and Queen of Summer.
That eye-catching crescent moon still orbits the garden.
And the garden is in full summer bloom.
No, really. It was the most incredible day, ever, of all time.
A want to be a rose — this rose — in this garden — and bloom forever. But even on this day, we had to move along. We left Anne Hathaway’s Cottage for Mary Arden’s Farm, just a few minutes up the road and this year hosting a series of midsummer celebration events. We’ve been here so many times, it is fun to see what small changes happen between each visit, and what stays the same.
Millie the Owl still swoops over heads and grabs mice corpses from her human.
Those cute piglets? Have grown and GROWN.
A warm day. I love the ducks’ sinewy necks curling into their water stone.
A view over the vegetable garden, toward Palmer’s farmhouse.
We’ve been at this door before. Enter.
The kitchen, mostly cleaned, after the midday feast.
The table, cleared, and main bedchamber beyond.
The cold cellar.
The table set in the masters chamber.
Upstairs, view across the floor through the first three rooms. Check out that hobbit door.
Adult bed with child’s trundle.
The last room on the top floor, where lesser beings sleep and work.
On this day, storytelling and fairies in the Rickyard.
Followed by music and dancing. (“Now we’re horses! Now we’re horses!” Called out the lead dancer.)
And perfectly groomed paths through the fields — with hand sanitizers — for long, quiet, anti-bacterial walks.Midsummer madness. On this longest day of the year, it seems that time stretches out. I had seen more sun before 11am today than I would see in a full day in mid-December. Heck, in December, the sun hardly seems to peer gloomily over the world before 10am. I would build a Stonehenge, myself, if I thought that would guarantee a day like this at least once a year. For today, I’m content enough to wake at 4am, and refuse to sleep until the stars come out near midnight.