Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The enchantment of the butterfly bushes

Lush layers of texture in verdant shades of green greet me every day at the entrance of my garden...
It had to do with an overgrown butterfly bush and a blush colored New Dawn Rose that bloom profusely next to each other by the arbor which constitutes the doorway to my garden.
By midsummer the greenery have camouflage the pathway so densely, that stepping onto the other side of the garden is somewhat of an adventure… you would never expect to past this leafy barrier without a thorn in your flesh, a scratch or two on arms and forehead, but most certainly you would always always anticipate a new song in your heart as you walk by.
To step outside into this lush garden in the summertime is to be instantly transported to what feels like a secluded hideaway. I like to imagine that I’m Mary Lennox in her secret garden on the edge of the moors and that by the path, a raven unearths a hidden key so that I am able to enter the walled garden… that’s how magical this place is!
Every season has its rhythm, but perhaps summer’s is the most eagerly anticipated around here. As days are longer, the expectation for what I might do, see, and feel seems to stretch as far as the sun into the enchanting summer evenings.

There is something about nightfall in the garden that brings everything to life in a mysterious and delightful way. It’s an enchanting moment when all the voices of the world transpire to a soft hush and you’re caught in its magic. Our senses become more acute, bird songs and frog cheep are especially sweet and flowers seem to exude their perfume more profusely at sunset than at any other time of day.

That’s when you can expect to hear Nature speak; Nature to tease you, to take you into a timeless realm where you’ll be but the wind that weaves forgotten thoughts; a faint murmur dancing in flame... the rather mysterious and elusive scent of butterfly bushes would waft from the flower spikes to bewitch you, and if you let your senses guide you, you will be transported in time to places and dreamscapes untold. I often wonder what’s with certain scents that have the amazing capability to bring back memories long forgotten and which otherwise would never come to mind?

And thus, for a moment time stands still... I am transported in time back to my childhood, back to an Old World church with century old traditions. I am there with my sister Lissette—we have come to crown “La Virgen MarĂ­a” with blossoms. As we move, the light from the old lanterns on the wall shed tiny golden stars on Lissette’s hair and struck sparks from jewels the color of heliotrope on Mary’s cloak.
Special devotions to Mary during Passover celebration go back to medieval times, and in our remote rural town things were no different. Children of all ages would gather at the church every evening, where a large statue of Mary was to be decorated with fresh flowers and candles.
The heavenly smell was intoxicating. Wafting from the Virgin came the scents of Holly, Violet, Heather, Jasmine, Myrtle, and Lavender, and if you were not paying close attention to your senses you'd have miss the faint scent of butterfly bushes... so subtle, so enchanting and mysterious. So holly and perfect.

These verses, which by the way I think are the most pure form of poetry, remind me of trees and the lovely scent of Nature. I thought it was pretty:

"I have struck root among the glorious people, . . .

in the portion of the Lord, his heritage,

Like a cedar on Lebanon . . . a cypress on Mount Hermon,

Like a palm tree in Engedi, like a rosebush in Jericho,

Like a fair olive tree in the field,

Like a plane tree growing beside the water . . .

I give forth perfume . . .

I spread my branches . . .

I bud forth delights like the vine,

My blossoms bear fruit fair and rich."

(Sirach 24: 13-17)