Friday, July 12, 2019

Friday Ramble - Abundance

I awaken early and trot out to the garden wearing a cotton caftan, straw hat and sandals, and carrying a mug of Earl Grey.  It's already wickedly hot out there, and the sky is obscured by a high gossamer heat haze. Bees are already surfing for nectar in the oregano patch and humming about their appointed work.

The only sentient beings happy about this July heat are the blissfully foraging bees, flowering herbs and the ripening vegetables in village veggie patches: beans, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, chards and emerging gourds. Most vegetables show a little restraint, but the zucchini vines (as always) are on the march and threatening to take over entire gardens, if not the whole wide world. Are veggies sentient, and do they have Buddha nature?  You bet they do, and I suspect they have long mindful conversations when we are not listening.

Villagers are an eccentric bunch when it comes to gardening. One neighbor is growing squash on her veranda, and another has planted cabbages and corn in her flower beds. The guy around the corner is cultivating every known variety of hot pepper in reclaimed plastic storage bins. The tubs are lined up along the sidewalk and driveway in front of his house, and the place looks like a jungle. He is not growing anything but peppers, and his enthusiasm is admirable - he plans to pickle each and every one.

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 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 crackers, a sprinkling of sea salt and a few fresh basil leaves 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 ripening and plenty, as we weed and water and gather in, chuck things in jars, pickle up a storm and store summer's bounty to consume somewhere way up the road.  Like bees and squirrels, we scurry about, preserving the contents of 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 such times with their dews and hazes and maturing vegetables.  These days are all too fleeting.

1 comment:

Barbara R. said...

Ah, so timely you are! I loved reading your blog today (as always) especially because I'm editing a newsletter with the theme of Abundance for August. Might I quote your last 2 paragraphs in it? It's for my Unitarian Universalist church here in Black Mountain NC. I will definitely give the link back to this post of yours...or just to your blog if you prefer. Barb Rogers - blackmtnbarb AT gmail DOT com.