Friday, July 02, 2021

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. The fragrance in the garden is almost indecently sumptuous, and the bee sisters are ecstatically surfing for nectar in the basil and oregano, humming as they go about their appointed work. Beau finds a shady alcove under the buckthorn bush and makes himself comfortable while I potter about.

The only sentient beings happy about this early July heat are the blissfully foraging bees, flowering herbs and the ripening vegetables in village veggie patches: beans, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, chards, radishes, rhubarb 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 grows squashes on her veranda, and another has planted cabbages and corn in her flower beds. The guy around the corner is cultivating hot peppers in reclaimed plastic storage bins. As in other years, the tubs are lined up along the sidewalk and driveway in front of his house, and the place looks like a jungle. He only grows hot peppers, and his passion for them is admirable - he plans to pickle or freeze each and every one.

Scarlet or gold, purpled or striped, tomatoes come in all sizes and shapes, and they are always a marvel. The first juicy heirloom "toms" of the season are always cause for 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, Camembert or Stilton, 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 a perfect 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. Our early summer cups are certainly overflowing.

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 will 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.


Victoria Londergan said...

There is infinitely more vitality and creativity in the drift of ordinary life. πŸ™πŸ»πŸ§š for capturing it so beautifully in photo and prose … it is the task of a lifetime to hold such beauty and wonder close to our hearts letting it fill us with awe and then through some mystical grace let it go as it continues its cycle … not there yet πŸ™πŸ»πŸ”₯🧚

Barbara Rogers said...

I'm imagining all the scents, the feel of touching the warm veggies, oh what a party they offer the senses!