The sounds of summer drifted languidly down the valley.
A game of backyard cricket, shouts from children and encouragement from adults that eventually turned into shouts from adults and encouragement by children.
Someone was mowing their lawn.
A whipper snipper also in action.
The faint waft of a BBQ starting up with a tinge of cold fat and promises of greatness to come.
Overnight the place had turned green, shucked off the coat of winter and hit late spring in its stride.
Overnight too the apple blossoms had fallen, as had the level in the whiskey decanter her grandmother swore was for port, but held a liquid far too amber for the rancid memories she had of fortified wine.
The evening sky was a pale blue, with threatening clouds out to the south west where they said the cold front was coming from – though it was almost perfect when she got the phone call from the doctor.
Was she the disease, did the disease become her, or was it only something that was happening to her? Her decision – the doctor said, her own words tinged with a concern that came from a long friendship. A friendship that began before the study that would make her responsible for what was to come.
She’d always remember that moment of perfect summer that preceded the call.
The feel of the grass on bare feet, well mostly weeds actually, but the freedom in bare feet that took her back to childhood memories of running without a care through that golden time of holidays – something she hadn’t had in ten years or so.
Holidays were for families and social media.
A waft of campfire and her thoughts returned and she contemplated the garden set out before her. Set out haphazardly almost thirty years before, in a promise to watch a tree grow, to watch a niece grow, a nephew to bloom, a community to thrive.
Yes, she saw it all down the valley as she sipped the whiskey on the steps to her library and pondered the diagnosis and what it meant in the years to come.
She could make friends now.
She was here to stay.