As I pick the basil leaves I thank them, they basilness with every separation. – and I find myself enjoying that beautiful basilly smell. Then I remember that the point of that smell (and taste) is to avert predators….Now I am the predator.
The Basil’s smell is intensifying in the heat. I am encouraged by it’s loveliness to override my empathy for their demise at my hands; I am torn though and upon finishing my harvest, I make a deal with myself. I’ll leave the outdoor basils to grow on and feed my bees with their prolific flowers; the glasshouse ones will be cut back – it’s still hot enough in there that they will get a second chance to express their beauty and abundance to all.
I back away, bowing low and rush inside to the kitchen to start blitzing….That word says it all! My only choices here are to be deeply grateful to the basil deva for her yummy gift and to sing her praises to one and all. Oh, and to enjoy that Pesto like its gonna be my last meal!
Yesterday was the first morning of sunshine in quite a few days and it beckoned me ceaselessly to come out into the garden. Over the winter many jobs got left undone and now I had a surfeit of choice. Where to start? Down to the vege patch I went, surveying the posts planted around the edges of the garden which will, eventually, support the anti-rabbit mesh. Anyone who has read Beatrix Potter will immediately recognise me as a present day Mr MacGregor. My greens have been ravished; I’ve taken to planting in the glasshouse so we actually get some food!
I have to say that this didn’t bring out the best in me; I know bunnies are cute but the are devastation on four legs with a fluffy tail! So now, feeling provoked I turned my vengeful gaze on my potting shed and its numerous inhabitants. It too, hasn’t seen much of me over the winter. A new granddaughter was being incubated and she arrived at the beginning of June; so I’ve been Grandma-ing not gardening. Now was the time to take up the reins again. It was no surprise to see the mass colonisation of spiders; nature will encourage all her creatures to do that. After my rabbit-reflections I was in just the right mood to to deal with spiders. Generally, I’m not afraid of spiders and actually find some quite beautiful, but these had to go. I am not Arachne and need no spinning lessons.
Calling upon my Kali aspect I mixed up some pyrethrum spray that urges spiders to move on – at least two continents away! I swept, I stacked, I sprayed. Spiders packed their bags hastily and left, an exodus akin to the Hebrews fleeing Egypt. Today I will go down again and clean the windows so all is prepared for Spring planting.I know that Persephone is making her way up from the underworld because my Almond is blossoming; she is always the first orchard tree to express her joy at the returning of Spring. All around I can feel the garden waking up; we have ben visited by the quail for the first time after their winter holidays. It is fascinating to notice the turning of the wheel; i have so much gratitude for being able to live close to the natural world and to feel communion with her. So much mystery abounds and like a small child who has secretly peaked at her Christmas presents prior to the day, I am allowed to understand the mystery and experience the magnificence. The life of a gardener is glorious and gifted.
And the greatest mystery of all is that of life and death. I have learned to honour this cycle even though I know that the beautiful Magnolia flowers that have bought me such joy these last few months are now in their death throes as the way is made clear for an abundance of foliage. I will mourn their loss even as I yearn for the emergence of fruit blossom, gardenias and rambling rose blooms. With every ending there is always a new beginning.
We’ve just experienced the equinox this week and along with it the usual equinoctial gales. It now finally begins to feel that Spring is here; for some time now we’ve lived with t he dry bones clatter of the death Goddess as she moves through bare branches on a chill wind, shriveling the life out of any new and tender growth.
So it was with joy and anticipation I listened and finally heard the first call of the shining cuckoo a few days ago; the most reliable of harbingers. I trust then that Mother Nature is awakening from her winter’s rest once again. My eyes don’t deceive me either for that Great Lady is now covering her bones with garments of every green imaginable; gauzy limes layered over soft velvety olives and an underskirt of dark glossy greens.
Everywhere there is urgency as birds court flirtatiously and build nests of all manner of wondrous finds. Twigs, feathers, fur and lichen are woven with skill and grace. The call to spend time outside overcomes my concern for wet ground underfoot; a couple of sunny days and all will be dried out once again.
Now as the wisteria racemes begin to unfurl their blossoms revealing a delicious scent I am beguiled and know that I must bow my head in honour of this glorious turning of the wheel.
When our loved ones let us down remember, we’re not alone. This is how I know…
This morning I’m sitting in a sheltered place out of the brisk westerly; I feel the Mother’s sun-kiss on my face and warm tendrils of pleasure unfurl within my body. I lay back relaxing and opening to receive the kiss, the loving touch of the Divine Feminine reminding me of her Prescence. All is well, time stands still and my heart beats in a slow gentle cadence. A tui sings out, its sharp tones travelling far in the clear winter air, the voice of the Goddess, proclaiming joy. As the sun warms all around the lemony scent of Michelia doltsopa ‘Silver Cloud’ reaches me and I breathe in; I bow my head in honour of her gracious gift. I feel such connection in this moment, a gentle radiant peace. At my feet our Manx cat, Lilith, rests curled in sleep; wise creature that she is. Don’t expect us anytime soon world, we may be here for a while.