It's that day, the one when even though the sun is hidden behind clouds, the air is still warm. Spring's dress of bluebells and stitchwort has a haze of perfume rising from every flower and each bird not atop some nestlings is hurling notes into the air, hoping to catch something magnificent to bring home. It's a good day for a picnic.
Fergus had tucked his pastry safely into his belly before I'd finished rummaging through the basket for my phone and we began a search for the collective noun for bluebells.
I offered 'an insanity of bluebells', a madness, their intensity quite overwhelming. A few sniffs more and I was sure it must be 'a sensuality of bluebells' or perhaps 'an opulence' or even 'an epiphany'. Their scent fills me with some kind of wild deliciousness, I can't contain myself or restrain my desire to run about barefoot from one patch to the next taking deep sniffing breaths. I become a child, or a honey bee, or perhaps I become the me that has not been trained by society to 'behave'. I cannot behave in any way other than as one utterly drunk on love in the presence of bluebells.
Fergus, so much less prone to being toppled by flowers, proclaimed them 'a generosity of bluebells' - and there we stayed, among the generosity of bluebells.
In our very visually obsessed culture it's easy to forget the smells of things, but smell, like all our senses, can feed our souls deeply. In fact there is some fascinating research that suggests that people who for whatever reason cannot smell are significantly more likely to suffer from depression than those who can. It makes perfect sense to me - we are fed by all our senses, we need beauty all-ways in order to be as deeply nourished as we can be. Without it we suffer.
Next time you see a flower, go and press your nose close and breathe in deeply.
I hope for your sake that it's a bluebell, for to me there is no smell more beautiful.