Saliva last week made me think of drool, of lusting after things I don’t have. I used to spend SO MUCH TIME doing that as a teenager. The era of saliva. CDs, clothes, boys, travel – all so entirely unattainable and desperately desired.
Fortunately I don’t spend so much time on it these days, but found myself in the ridiculous position the other day of coveting someone’s front garden. The snowdrops were nodding, the jonquils were beaming, I think there were even some poppies popping up amongst the lavender. And I felt that sense of distress at not having – it was an anxious thing to behold this beautiful sunny garden because mine doesn’t look like that yet. How ridiculous.
The other day the Goulds were watching Gardening Australia again, and there was a 93 year-old called Mavis who said so many awesome things, but among the less immediately inspiring was how gardens “looking nice” was an essential thing for the community. I thought of Mavis again after my anxious moment before my neighbour’s bulbs and thought – “for the community”. For me.
You see, I read a book a while back, can’t remember the name, it was one of those things where someone writes about style and fashion, but is obviously quite intelligent and thus feels the need to justify their interest in such vacuous topics. From memory, her reasoning was that dressing well enhanced the “jollity of the nation.” What a fantastic phrase. And indeed it can.
When I see a gorgeous outfit, or garden as the case may be, my mental exercise is to consider it there in service of my jollity. I don’t need to lust after it, because it’s already mine.