The crunch of gravel behind me betrays the presence of more photographers who, just like me, took the climb. Lookout -> 70m the sign says the bottom of the incline, and since it is steep, the view must be worth it.

A hidden valley of paradise lies below me – the recent rain has revealed the bright green of spring, and while it is still cool – the cherry blossoms burst like little puffs of breath, soft pale pinks to deep magenta. The slope that leads down to the valley is covered in flowering rosemary – bright indigo speckled through green/grey woody leaves and stems.

Playing amongst the bushy undergrowth, willy-wagtails hop cheekily between the bushels, hiding-seeking.

Below the swell of Vivaldis’ Four Seasons floats through the groves of tulips and clusters of pansys that sit sheltered under the strands of the willow trees. The poplar’s in the small valley behind the acreage stand bare in the distance, biding their time till they birth new leaves.

Back in the valley I’m sitting beside a bed of tulips bordered tightly by purple and lilac pansies, which curves away into a corner of apple blossoms.

Across the path and two flowers beds further a man in a teal jumper sits in the sun. I’m not quite sure what he is doing here, and I think he doesn’t know either. But to his credit, he sits and waits. He listens, and watches, taking everything in. Perhaps like me, he is waiting for a revelation. Perhaps an escape.

I have no real troubles to escape from, but this is a retreat. Amongst the colour and birds is a distillation of beauty.

My head brushes the low hanging branches of a blossom tree and a familiar tune floats toward me. “Sing me a song of a lass that is gone – say could that lass be aye.”

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I am a person who loves books.

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