The Letters and Journals of Katherine Mansfield: A Selection
Edited by C. K. Stead, Penguin Books, London, 1977 [PR6025.A57Z46.1977]

At Villa Isola Bella, Menton, France
7 November 1920 (pp. 200-201)

Kissing is a queer thing. I was standing under a tree just now— a tree that is shedding exquisite golden yellow leaves all over my garden path. And suddenly one leaf made the most ethereal advances to me and in another moment we were kissing each other. Through the silvery branches one can see the deep blue sky... lapis lazuli.
    I think the time has come, it really has come for us to do a little courting. Have we ever had time to stand under trees and tell our love? Or to sit down by the sea and make fragrant zones for each other? The tea-roses are in flower. Do you know the peculiar exquisite scent of a tea-rose? Do you know how the bud opens— so unlike other roses and how deep red these thorns are and almost purple the leaves?
    I think it must be the orange flower which Marie has brought home from market. I have been arranging branches of it in jars and little slips of it in shallow glass bowls. And the house has a perfume as though the Sultan were expecting the première visite of his youngest bride. Marie, standing over me, chanted the while— almost sang a hymn to the cyclamen sauvage qu'on trouve dans les montagnes and the little violettes de mon pays which grow so thick that one trempe ses pieds dedans.
    If I live much longer, I shall become a bush of daphne, or you'll find no one to welcome you but a jasmine. Perhaps, too, it's the effect of receiving the sun every morning— très in time— the lady clad only in a black paper fan. But you must come here; you must live here in the South and forget greyness. It is divine here— no less...

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