My exhaustion is reflected in the exhaustion and desiccation of my garden. No rain means no reviving. Our spirits are dried out and desperate for renewal. I’ve been watching the horizon intently for signs of Autumn’s approach. I’ve even Autumn-cleaned my house. All in readiness for the long-awaited arrival whose accompanying entourage will embellish the garden with shades of red, gold and orange. Plump raindrops will freshen grass, late seasons fruit will swell and sweeten. Harvest will be upon us and we will revel in its abundance; only let it be soon….
Well, it’s not much, dear friends, but we have had rain! Long enough and slow enough to sink in and do some good. Everywhere the garden is reviving; new shoots show themselves, the last flushes of flowers bloom. The weather is still warm, a gentle heat the harbinger of Autumn – a warmth that encourages me out into the garden again. Unlike the Northern Hemisphere where gardens are left to ‘over-winter’ because the ground is too cold and hard, here my garden must ‘over-summer’. Dry earth is hard too and cultivation leads to desiccation. As well, the gardener is fanning herself in the shade of the grape-covered pergola so no chance of work from her! This is my time out, my siesta of contemplation and creativity – plans for reinvigouration unfold. Then, as the harshness of the sun declines out I go, like the Monarch breaking free from the chrysalis, into a new relationship with my garden. As I wandered around today reacquainting myself with old friends I noticed two bees drinking from the bird bath. In greeting them they expressed deep gratitude for the rain; a hardworking bee needs constant availability of shallow water and this had been hard to sustain. There is a feeling of newness and possibility alive in the garden; a freshness which speaks of unlimited possibilities. This is my favourite time of the year and I can feel a childlike excitement building as though after too long a confinement. No more stultifying humidity, no more total immersion in sunscreen, so much more freedom. In unison, my soul and the garden sigh with relief!