Tuesday, July 10, 2007

In the Great Round

One is very conscious of turnings, gatherings and transformation in July, the fat Monarch caterpillars munching milkweed leaves in the hedgerow and dreaming of flight, the hum of bees and wasps in the glossy buckthorn, the constant (and rather scattered) activities of squirrels and chipmunks chattering from their branches and filling their larders for the long nights time. It's as though the residents of garden, field and hedgerow have all glanced at their calendars and realized suddenly that these glorious summer days are the times of waning light, that they must begin to prepare for the lean times of late autumn and winter.

The same goes for the human species, for those who plough and sow and reap, who tend crops and fields and fill their local markets with colorful produce so bright and luscious that it is hard to know just what to bring home in one's basket in July.

There are stands of silky waving barley and high rustling green corn in Lanark, and it is marvellous to see. There is hay everywhere in these summer days - old fashioned heaps and stooks in the fields, small square horse bales and great round bales of fragrant timothy, alfalfa and clover as large as a pioneer's log cabin. The air is replete with harvest scents, and the bales and their newly shorn fields form fine patchwork patterns early in the morning. There are deep shadows along the old rail fences where deer and freckled fawns come out to feed at sunrise and dusk, and they share their space with flocks of wild turkeys.

I think of it as the "great round", and I wouldn't miss these perfect and astonishing summer rhythms for anything. It's all good and no two summers are the same.


Anonymous said...

Rhythms of summer, smells of hay, shapes of hay, giant orbs of grainy sun. The great rounds, how I dance to this description of fields in the summer. When we lived in Washington, we took a drive up to the Canadian border, to Osoyos and I had my husband stop the car so I could leap out and hug a round bale of hay. They call to me for some reason. Growing up in California, I had only seen square bales and these were a revelation.

As always Cate, I thank you for engaging me in the dance; to the rhythms of daily simple joys.


Taexalia said...

Sending you and Cassie warm bosies and love. I keep the vision that I will see you in a few weeks in person for real live bosies.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, and I love those round bales. I feel much more in touch with the turning of the seasons this year, perhaps because I've finally slowed down a little into my own rhythm, which can keep time better with the seasons. I'm even enjoying summer, which usually is my least favorite season, here. Thanks for the lovely thoughts.