It was like a sea of blue, they said.
They had seen a notice as they trundled along the country road.
“Fields of Flowers.”
And they did a sharp turn onto an even smaller road, which became a track and then widened out into a green meadow.
They were surprised to see so many cars. Parked on the bright grass there were cars and people everywhere. Some shared a picnic, checked tablecloths and bottles of wine, ham sandwiches and ripe peaches bursting with flavour , with juice, dripping down their chins.
Sun hats and umbrellas; suntans and sandals; chatter and laughter.
It was a happy scene. As they climbed out of the car in the hot sunshine they saw what they had come to see.
Fields of Flowers.
Delphiniums, in fact. A sea of blues and greens, swaying gently like ripples across a lake, in the soft breeze.
Delphiniums as far as the eye could see. And buckets and buckets of picked flowers under shady umbrellas. And queues of people, clutching £5 notes, waiting their turn to be given arms full of blue flowers in exchange for the crisp blue-green notes.
Girls in flowing dresses, men in neat blazers. I can see them now.
But this is the end of the line for me. For this picture is bright in my imagination. In reality, I did not see the sea of delphiniums but only heard about the beauty of the rippling blooms.
Perhaps the people in the queue were wearing jeans and trainers. Maybe the picnickers were munching on pizza and diet sodas; maybe not one of them wore a hat.
But the flowers were real. And the queue was real. And so were the armfuls of blue fragrant flowers.
The real picture, as it was described to me, was beautiful enough.
But the imagination-picture was gracious and graceful and filled me with joy at the thought.
People out in the sunshine enjoying a day of simple pleasures.
What greater delight could there be?