It has leaves coming out of an older room she doesn’t use anymore, by the gate; lush green and crimson leaf falling with noon light. I stop myself from staring: have always loved natural unmanicured gardens. This one’s it.
After lunch she asks if we’ll have tea. Cara lives alone with a few paying guests and their parakeet. Everything about her is natural, her naturally grey hair that’s silver, burning silver, her clay serving pots and mats- hand-made with plaited coir; and chairs. These were made by her father, his framed memory on the wall smiling down at us all the while we were there: but I was struck most by her ability to just listen. She’d ask a question now and then and wait for us to keep finishing what we were saying. No interruptions. She let the money plant grow all over her window, its tender green new leaf….
I tell her we no longer drink coffee or tea, she doesn’t ask why. As we leave she gives us a shawl made by her cottage industry friends. That is what she called them; they are her employees. The khadi shawl is ivory white, trimmed with magenta lotus. I dont know what to say, her quiet gets in me, like natural grass- soft, perky, listening for the others’ voice…
… we drive away into lanes and a highway that got us back home; here now, I watch the rain fall in the trees outside, in softening earth, in an earth changing as we breathe. Rain always did softening things to me, like it does to many who love the rain. Others are suspicious of it, (our musician friend Daniel B., he says it depresses him, makes him do the blues). That colour though, it lifts my spirits, also reminds of its parallel shades in softer lavender… like a horizon in the rain, or pre dawn. Colours can make you listen? I’m asking.
After meeting Cara, my ears have acquired more fields of sound. The rains have stopped, there’ll be frog and cricket, no plans… just everyone sitting in there absorbing the evening naturally. How long has it been since something shaped my thoughts? How long since I sat just to listen to the world given to me, looking at it up close? This moment will never return. I cherish it.