A little blond wee’un stoops on his haunches, and leans to sniff the primulas in bloom, wobbling as he stretches forward into the flowerbed. A partially toothed smile follows as he catches a waft of the sweetness.
Looking up for his Granny’s eye, he gets up and tries to locate her amongst the filled benches. End-to-end benches, “In Loving Memory of…” and Granny must be somewhere.
A couple pic-nicing and enjoying the warm spring sunshine. Flip-flopped, fresh skinned and flirty. People reading. Pigeons feeding. Pigeons cooing, preening and pecking. Dogs sniffing hello to their doggy friends, leads pulling and ankles entwining.
Gardeners racking-up the few twigs and leaves left from last season. Rhythmically racking and gently hoeing. The lawnmower man, purposefully pushing his way around the flower beds, creating that hybrid smell of two-stroke engine and the first cut grass of spring.
Runners bounding athletically, powering-up the incline, side-stepping the prams and their pushers. Students reading, revising and lap-topping. Deep in thought, frowned brows, pensive and pen poised.
Tourists, map upside-down, disorientated and confused.
How many people have sat here and enjoyed the urban tranquillity so much that they thought that it would be a good thing to have a bench In Their Memory? So many benches, so many memories. Favourite sitting spots, resting places, remembering places.
Which Bench? Written in the Botanic Gardens
Vicky Galbraith April 2011