All week I’ve been marvelling at my happy, cheery little friend that has sprung up in a rather grim-looking black pot on the backstep. Maybe I shouldn’t be that surprised, because I actually planted the thing – a geranium – over summer. But still each morning, as I peg my bath towel on the Hill’s Hoist out the back, I look down and get a happy, cheery little vibe from my happy, cheery little friend in the grim-looking pot. And pink isn’t even my favourite colour; actually I’m not a fan of the colour pink in the slightest.
But still, there she is, looking so happy and cheery.
Perhaps it’s because in the part of Australia where I live we’re coming to the tail-end of one of the hottest summers on record. Or was it years? Or decades? I can’t recall – all this talk about the world falling apart weatherwise gets a bit mixed up after a while.
Or is it because, speaking of weather, no one seems to have the definitive answer on climate change – is it fact or fiction? – and what we should do about it – tax polluters or plant more trees?
Or maybe I’m cheered up by my happy, cheery little friend because she comes from my aunt’s place, a farm a couple of hours drive west of here, couriered to me by my brother as a cutting in a plastic shopping bag.
Or it might be because ten years ago some bastard poisoned parts of my front garden and all this time later I still can’t get things to grow there (one day I’ll talk about this, perhaps even here on this humble little blog-shaped contraption), so it’s just nice to see a happy, cheery little plant doing so well.
Or it might be because, unknown to me, I just need a little cheering up this week. Could it be this? It could be, you know. Perhaps, perhaps.
What I do know for certain is that I’ve now taken a snap of my happy, cheery little friend and put her up here for all to see.
Isn’t she pretty?
To celebrate her fame I’ve just put on repeat on the stereo Beirut’s ‘The Gulag Orkestar’ (off the gorgeous 2006 album of the same name). Not because it’s the cheeriest song in the world, in fact it sounds like a stack of men with banged-up brass instruments getting plastered on cheap vodka because their wives have run off with a herd of donkeys. Or they just like getting drunk on cheap vodka. Either way, Beirut’s music is music that makes me smile.
More to the point, I think my happy, cheery little friend is out on her back step right now swaying this way and that because she loves this music too. Or she’s remembering what the Russian poet Osip Mandelstam once wrote: ‘how poor is the language of happines!’ So she’s swaying this way and that.
Yes, how poor is the language of happiness.