As the world starts to cautiously re-open, I have been making a list of places I want to visit or revisit in the future. Writing everything down, rather than keeping it in my head makes it feel more believable, we will get back to a world where we can go and visit gardens, restaurants, castles, museums. I have been in this place before where we were unable to travel and I consoled myself by writing everything in a special notebook.
As the notebook was shaped like an elephant, we got into the habit of saying ‘we’ll put that in the elephant’. Organised alphabetically and cross-referenced, this might seem excessive, but in a way the formality of recording these wishes and desires made them more achievable, not just talk.
As I go for my local walks each day, I am using the local sights to link to remind me of the places I want to return to. When I see my rhododendron in full flower, I am reminded of Exbury Gardens with its astounding range of rhododendron in different colours which must be looking wonderful right now. Maybe we will go back next year.
I walk past the house on the corner which always has a beautiful display of sunflowers and think about the golden fields around Montcuq in France, which are such a part of our summer holidays in France; perhaps we will have a chance to see the sunflowers later this year. Tidying my clump of bamboo and planning a pond reminds me of exploring the Jardin de l’Eau, where the bamboo has been grown in a dense circle to provide a shady retreat at the centre of its towering stems, and the water lilies had leaves bigger than my proposed miniature pond.
Making a list of these future hopes takes the pressure out of my mind. It’s too soon to think about actual holiday. For now, I am feeding the elephant and waiting.