I’ve just been standing in a bowl of elderflower cream. With the arrival of the rain, the size and drunkenly delicious fragrance of the blooms on my trees – and they are truly mine, because I planted these lime-loving witch-haunting trees in acid soil and they grew for me, which makes me definitely a witch – has drawn me to stand beneath them, dripping and delighted, picking four of the most extravagant heads to try an experiment. They [my friends the old wives and some recipe books I respect] say that the flower heads for making drinks should be gathered on a sunny day. These are wet with fresh rain. I shall make a comparative batch of elderflower champagne and test it out in two weeks’ time.
While I picked them, I remembered last summer, frantically grabbing a few and making a batch before I left home to go into hospital and into a journey of horrible discoveries and miraculous recoveries.
I’m still here, and so are my elder trees – I may have shrunk a little, but they go onward and upward, getting more beautiful as they reach the sky.