The sound of a summer garden party in a neighboring yard makes me remember all of those we had in Santa Fe while I was growing up, with family friends, cottonwood shade, my Mom’s barbeque brisket and rolls, the strawberry cake I used to bake, fireworks on the Fourth of July, moths coming to the porchlight, the abundance that all of that represented—a kind of gladness in the heart.
And I think too of the garden parties in Sabrina, the chauffeur’s daughter looking on from her lonely, dreamy perch in the tree, wanting to join the dancing but not having been invited.
I loved to sit up in our cottonwood tree, too, eye-level with the moon, and imagine fairytales of love and laughter that might come to pass on some balmy midsummer’s night.
The sounds of merriment from up the hill that reach me as I write, tables set out under the oaks with the last of this Sunday’s sun in them, friends gathered for a celebration of something that has nothing to do with me, reminds me of the wistful line from Prufrock, “beneath the music from a farther room.” Parties that go on without us are tinged with nostalgia for the parties we have dreamed, behind us or ahead of us, luring our hearts to join in.
image: Garden Party, Toast