Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Midsummer…and the fullness thereof.
Have you noticed that there comes a point in every growing season at which everything suddenly seems to take off? One minute, there is space between plants and the next minute there is a mini-jungle happening. In the gardens, in the hedgerows, everywhere, there is a burgeoning of fertility that leaves one breathless.
The Devon lanes I walk along each morning seem to have become dark, green, growing canyons overnight, their high walls a tangle of brambles and nettles, grass and wildflowers. There are grass heads drooping heavily with seed, swirls of pollen in the honeysuckle-scented air, wild strawberries ripening, foxgloves surfing the white waves of cow parsley, insects buzzing to and fro, butterflies dancing, wrens quivering with song. Only the robins have fallen silent, hidden now in this vast greenness.
So much growth is happening around me that I feel almost breathless. I am drowning in those waves of white and green. I am being strangled by vines and trampled by trees. I find myself gasping at the sheer hugeness of the life force that is moving through the land—and through me—at an amperage so great it could burn me out like a light bulb.
Many people re-package Nature in their minds into a pretty, decorative concept—something to admire through a window, in a vase or on TV. Others, seeking direct contact with Nature’s raw reality, climb the mountains, raft the rapids, hike the trails and pitch their tents in the back country, the domain of bears or rattlesnakes.
I have done both. I, too, have ‘loved’ Nature as brought to you by Hallmark. And I, too, have laced up my walking boots and set off into the wilderness. Right now, in the warm, fecund fullness of this midsummer, I just went for my morning walk with all the doors of my senses wide open, and feared I might die from it.