Smiling at her defeat she stretched herself luxuriously like a cat and poked her toes out into a cool expanse of sheet.
“It is nice,” she thought, “to have the whole bed to myself.”
She curled herself up and lay for a few moments watching the sun catching little patches of air and turning them into rainbow dust. Then she rang. Her maid let in such a flood of light that she was forced to shade her eyes. An unabashed cuckoo broke into the chorus of birds, glorying in being a solo part and despising them for mixing and intertwining their notes.
She got out of bed and her bare feet sank into the warm furry rug; without putting on her slippers she walked across the room, stepping like a child into the puddles of sunshine on the carpet. Leaning out of the window the air pierced through her transparent nightgown—a tingling quality underlying a faint veil of warmth. Everywhere mist and dew lay on the countryside like the bloom on a grape. The gardener’s boy walking across the lawn had left his footprints stamped in emerald on the grass.
Smiling intimately to herself she got into her bath, wondering vaguely at the miracle of water, enjoying impersonally the cool whiteness of her body, doing tricks of perspective with her arms and legs.
She dressed slowly with indolent rhythmical movements, indifferently aware of her effortless inevitable perfection.
Even more slowly she walked down the staircase out through the open window on to the grey terrace. Somehow she felt that she was violating the morning, forcing the human on to the divine. Sipping the day she walked towards the almonds with their pink blush of blossom bursting through the brown; turning round her head she saw the double cherry, its branches nearly breaking under their load of snow. And at the roots of every tree uninvited primroses and violets were crowding out the earth.
She followed the winding terraces towards the gleaming river, past fluttering daffodils and wandering narcissi, over riotous anemones and bright sturdy scyllae, shaking showers of diamonds off the grasses as she went.
The river lay like a long satin streamer, a curling ribbon dropped on the meadows. And everywhere, hidden and vibrating, was an urgency of life: buds bursting into blossom, birds bursting into flight.
Gradually the veil was lifting from the morning, the sun was rubbing the bloom off it as a child rubs sleep from his eyes.
She retraced her steps, putting down her feet with the delicate fastidiousness of a cat in order not to tread on a flower. “I’m alone with you,” she said shyly and ecstatically to the day. Never before had she had the Spring to herself. Always there had been the children (now on a visit) dragging plans and occupations, games, picnics, and bicycles across the pure joy of living, or her husband like a violin very close to her ear tearing her nerves to shreds with poignant urgent beauty.