What a beautiful year it has been in my little garden! And what a revelation, to be so intensely involved with nature and growing, and the myriad living things that visited me in my garden, in the course of the season.
The endless power of nature; the endless possibility of nature; the endless beneficence of nature that I experienced this season –really for the very first time, though I have gardened extensively at different times in my life– well, you may think I am overstating it (and to tell you the truth, I am wondering myself) when I say that there is an ongoing Mild Ecstacy involved in growing a garden. As the plants grow, one phase turns miraculously, seemlessly, into the next, and followed by the next.
The head seems to be tuned, to vibrate to a tune, a song of the garden, a song of nature. A vibrating chord.
Other aspects of our man-made lives may lack the same exuberance, but in the garden, one feels tuned –attuned– to the most vital forces. In the presence of.
Goodness. Often, an intense sense of goodness.
Was it Voltaire who told us to tend to our gardens? (Yes, I just found the quote: “That is well said,” replied Candide, ” but we must cultivate our garden. (We must attend to our own affairs.)”
And –“God Almighty first planted a garden; and, indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures.” Francis Bacon (1561-1626) seems to agree with me too.
And Yeats, for sure:
“…Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
…And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow.
…I hear it in the deep heart’s core.”
(The Lake Isle of Innisfree.)
Yeats gets to the core of things.
And T.E. Brown sums it up aptly:
“A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot.”
I think I will leave it there.
In the next few days I will probably have some more mundane –but still special– observations and accounts of “closing down” my garden for the year –collecting the tomato vines and the like, and picking the green tomatoes to ripen indoors at their own pace –there are quite a few there. I have been looking up recipes for Green Tomato Pasta sauce; will make some and freeze it, to pull out and savor in the course of winter, when I want to invoke the taste of summer 2007.
This evening I made a basil pesto –lots of basil leaves, some of them with brown spots, chopped up with olive oil, and ground Parmesan, and a tiny Thai pepper, and garlic. That too I will freeze, and pull out on some bleak January day that needs a hint of summer to cheer it up.
Close the gate after you.