only to taste the warmth the light the wind

In the Wake of Sunbeams | ch3 |

Summary: Through thick and thin, siblings look out for each other. After all, adventures and mishaps are best when shared. (oneshots for Sunshine Siblings Week)

Title/Prompt: Gardening
Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3
AN: For some reason, writing this reminded me of this McDonald’s sign that we’d always pass which said ‘Over 99 billion served’ and for the longest time when I was young and had poor, uncorrected eyesight (and even poorer reading comprehension apparently), I thought it said ‘Over 99 balloons saved’. Hah, alas. Well, I think anyone who knows me in the slightest recognized that I would go straight for the gardening prompt. I can’t deny that writing this was incredibly fun and just what I needed, so I’m rather happy with how this turned out, which is a first in a very long while. Likely the last prompt I’ll be able to submit on time (still planning to write them all though!) since school has started again and I can no longer overestimate how long I can stay awake and still function. Happy reading!
(Also on ff.net)


It is peaceful in the backyard, in the garden, the kind of calm that makes one boneless, the kind that settles and tucks over like the softest of blankets. Wind chimes sing a quiet lullaby, light and enchanting, courtesy of playful breezes that come around to whisper in their ears and kiss their cheeks before dashing off again. Sunlight, rich and warm, spills across the grass and lights the flowers until they become a bouquet of colours, bright and stunning. The day is light and clear with blue skies and puffy white clouds the size of mountains, the sort of day that makes the heart ache with the knowledge that such a perfect moment cannot last forever.

Underneath the dappled shade of the apple tree, Naruto sits back and sighs, allowing the sweet and heady fragrance of dirt and grass and ripening apples to calm and relax his mind. He sets his gardening gloves and spade carefully next to him and stretches his long legs out, mimicking the thick roots that rise above and dip beneath the ground like waves reaching out towards the house before completely relaxing, his limbs utterly at ease. He shuts his eyes and feels the spots of light that peek through the leaves of the tree and that glide across the ground and across his form, warm on his skin and as light as a kiss.

A hum rises from the back of his throat as an actual kiss, soft and gentle and touched by the scent of lavender, presses against the whiskers on his cheek. He grins slowly, lazily, and his eyes flicker open to take in the sight of his wife, her indigo hair glowing violet at the edges from the sun and her lavender eyes creased in a happiness, a smile dancing on her lips.

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Only to taste the warmth, the light, the wind, 1939, gelatin silver photograph, vintage

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Accession number 174.2006

Olive Cotton

Image and description from the Art Gallery of New South Wales:  "Only to taste the warmth, the light, the wind appears to have been the only print Cotton made of this image. It was found in the late 1990s and has been shown only once, in an exhibition at the AGNSW in 2000 where it was also used on the catalogue cover. It was unusual for Cotton to print so large, yet it is entirely fitting that this monumental head and shoulder shot of a beautiful young woman should be presented in this way. The subject was a model on a fashion shoot at which Cotton was probably assisting. Cotton often took her own photographs while on such shoots and used them for her private portfolio. The photograph transcends portraiture, fashion and time to become a remarkable image of harmony with the elements.

Cotton took the title for this photograph from an 1895 poem by English poet Laurence Binyon, ‘O summer sun’:

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O summer sun, O moving trees!

O cheerful human noise, O busy glittering street!

What hour shall Fate in all the future find,

Or what delights, ever to equal these:

Only to taste the warmth, the light, the wind,

Only to be alive, and feel that life is sweet?

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A photographer whose work straddles pictorialism, modernism and documentary, Cotton maintained an independent vision throughout her working life, based on the close observation of nature. Her understanding of the medium of photography was not to do with capture, but rather ‘drawing with light’.   1915, ‘Poems of today’, English Association, London p 96  © Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007"

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