A story about a character coming out of a long hibernation
They were on their way to a new house in the country. They were leaving the only house Indigo had known, because Mum and Dad had realised during lockdown, that without the Heathrow planes flying over the house day and night, and without the constant noise of passing cars and lorries bombarding the front of the house, it had felt like living in the country, but they knew that when the lockdown ended and travel was allowed again, their newly-found country living would disappear. Now they wanted the real thing. Indigo had waved goodbye to the removal men as they left the house with her home inside the van. She went with Mum and Dad round the empty house to check that there was nothing left behind. Dad checked the windows and locked the doors and they climbed into the car.
Indigo watched the trees and hedgerows as the car passed them on its way out of London. The trees were still leafless, still sleeping after the cold wet winter. Indigo felt cold and anxious. Everything was so unreal. The family had been in lockdown longer than the winter because of the virus. They didn’t know when they could expect to be free again.
Normally, she would be sad to leave her house, her school and her friends, and the local park where they all gathered to play on the swings and the round-about, but during the long lockdown, she hadn’t been to school, and now only learned online and the local park was closed. She had missed her friends, but it was a long time since she had seen them and they seemed distant to her now. Why not move? It didn’t matter where they lived. The family would still be in isolation together.
Indigo noticed that after they had left the motorway and the London area behind, there was a gradual increase in the number of trees they passed, and the size of the roads became narrower, the trees closer. Among the trees she could see an occasional hint of colour, the catkins were in bloom, one of the first signs of spring. They danced merrily as though they thought there was something to celebrate.
After about two hours of travelling, they passed clouds of snow-white blossom blooming on each side of the road. ‘Look!’ said Mum, ‘That’s blackthorn. What a lovely surprise!’
The car stopped in a village. Mum popped into the local farm shop to get a few bits of grocery. ‘We’re nearly there.’ Dad leaned back to Indigo and smiled at her. A couple of girls on horseback clopped slowly passed the car. They smiled and raised their hands to Mum as she left the shop. A few minutes later Dad steered the car up a sloping drive and parked the car outside the new house.
It looked interesting. The Removal Van had got there before them and the men were waiting for Dad to let them in.
Indigo felt in the way with furniture constantly going through the front door.
She slipped through the gate at the side of the house, into the garden. Spring had not yet arrived in the garden, there was no colour there, but there was a swing at the end of the path.! Not an ordinary swing, with a wooden seat and chains, but a big standing circle of white stone, with a hammock just the size of a seat, hanging from its centre. Indigo ran down to try it out. She just fitted into it and it held her closely. She pushed back and the hammock seat moved softly back and forth.
She shut her eyes and suddenly, she saw the garden. Spiky leaves were pushing their way through the dark, damp winter soil. She watched as snowdrops were the first to open, their heads bowing to her in greeting. Then the golden celandines spread their pretty flat leaves and the flowers glowed like sunshine. She looked up to see the buds of pink blossom on a tree she hadn’t known before. Then the daffodil spears burst open and they seemed to be everywhere in the garden, a blackbird peeped out from the branches of the silver birch tree and began calling, greeting her.
An old summer house leaned slightly. It was painted blue. The colour was so faint that the blue was almost grey. It had windows on two sides and in front of it there was a climbing plant that Indigo didn’t know. She was sure it would cover the walls with flowers, but what colour would they be?. By the little grey/blue door was a yellow forsythia bush with buds that were almost fully open, another golden treasure..
There was a pond, with tall spikey, silvery leaves of irises, their buds just opening, blue and white and yellow and kingcups surrounded the edges of the pond, reflecting their glossy hoard of gold in the water. A little beach with a log of wood gave a resting place for a blue tit that reached down into the water for a drink. The surface of the water broke, leaving a circle that widened until the pond was smooth again. A squirrel sat up on the fence and looked at her, then went on eating something he held in his paws. Below him was a rose bush with new leaves just breaking out between its thorny branches.
Indigo heard laughter, it was coming from beyond the old beech hedge, which was rusty brown/gold in colour with dead, leaves still clinging to it. She opened her eyes and saw, through the gaps in the hedge, a boy and a girl of near her own age, chasing round the garden of the house next door. They couldn’t see her.
Now that her eyes were open she could see that the blackbird really was there and she looked and saw that there were spiky green shoots pushing through the soil, everywhere she looked. She recognised the clumps of forget-me-not leaves and she remembered the blue colour of the sky that they would reflect when they bloomed. There were clumps of primroses too, the flowers a delicate creamy yellow were blooming already. Tomorrow would be the first day of spring..... Lockdown couldn’t last forever. (1,53 words)