Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Ramble - Abundance

I awaken early and trot out to the garden wearing a faded cotton caftan, straw hat and sandals, and carrying a mug of Earl Grey.  It's already wickedly hot out there, and the thin scrap of waning moon dancing overhead is obscured by a high gossamer heat haze.

The only sentient beings happy about the heat are the mindfully foraging bees and the ripening vegetables in village veggie patches: beans, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, chards and emerging gourds.  Are veggies sentient, and do they have Buddha nature?  You bet they do, and I suspect they converse among themselves when we are not listening. The zucchini vines (as always) are on the march and threatening to take over entire gardens, if not the whole wide world.

The tomatoes are always a marvel.  Scarlet or gold, occasionally purpled or striped, they come in all sizes and some surprising shapes. The first juicy heirloom "toms" of the season are the essence of feasting and late summer celebration as they rest on the sideboard: fresh-from-the-garden jewels, rosy and flushed and beaded with early morning dew. A wedge of Brie or Camembert, gluten-free bread, a sprinkling of sea salt and a few fresh basil leaves from the garden are all that is needed to complete both the scene and today's lunch. 

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 exactly the right word for these days of ripeness and plenty, as we weed and reap and gather in, freeze things, chuck things into jars, "put things by" and store the bounty of summer for consumption somewhere way up the road.  Like bees and squirrels, we scurry about, hoarding the stuff in our gardens to nourish body and soul when temperatures fall and nights grow long.  For all the sweetness and abundance held out in offering, there is a subtle ache to these August days with their dews and hazes and ripening vegetables.  We love summer's heat, and these days are all too fleeting.


Tabor said...

Perfect post today as I harvest basil and peeled my dried garlic for several cups of pesto and then bagged a hundred garlic cloves in olive oil for winter.

Kiki said...

Had a wonderfully tasty tomato salad with basil from the garden - your words are like the best Modena aceto, the lusciously green virgin olive oil - the sea salt flakes we strew ever so lightly over the toms just made things perfect... Thank you for this lovely and poetic post.

sarah said...

I can't abide the heat, therefore summer, but you make it sound wonderful.