Friday, August 02, 2013

Friday Ramble - Sweet Abundance

I rise early (by five o'clock) and trot out to the garden wearing my favorite faded cotton caftan, straw hat and sandals, and carrying a mug of Earl Grey.  It's already wickedly hot out there, and the scrap of waning moon dancing overhead is somewhat obscured by a high gossamer heat haze.  Yes indeed, another scorcher is on the way, and the only sentient beings here visibly (and audibly) happy about it are the mindfully foraging bees and the ripening vegetables in our garden: beans, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, chards and emerging gourds.  The zucchini vines (as always) are on the march and threatening to take over the garden, if not the whole wide world.

Oh honey sweet and hazy summer abundance....... That luscious word made its first appearance in the fourteenth century, coming down the years to us through Middle English and Old French from the Latin abundāns, meaning overflowing. The adjective form is abundant, and synonyms for it include:ample, generous, lavish, plentiful; copious; plenteous; exuberant; overflowing; rich; teeming; profuse; prolific, replete, teeming, bountiful and liberal.

Abundant is the perfect word for these circumstances of fullness, ripeness and plenty, as we weed and reap and gather in, freezing things, chucking things into jars, "putting things by" and storing the bounty of summer for consumption somewhere way up the road - like bees and squirrels, we scurry about, hoarding the contents of our gardens to nourish body and soul when temperatures fall and nights grow long.  Our cups are truly overflowing, but for all the sweetness and abundance held out in offering, there is a subtle ache to these long aestival days with their heats and hazes and ripening vegetables.  We love summer's heat and long for cooler times too, but these summer days are all too fleeting...

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