An evening at the end of the summer It has been a good, long summer. Warm, not too hot for too many days, cool for a few days when we all needed a break. As much as I hate to see the season end, it has just about run its course and I can see that it is time for the seasons to turn again. I am ready, even a bit eager.
I am struck by how suddenly it has become dark. We are already well into the stretch of days that get shorter, while nights get longer. We are moving towards the Autumn Equinox, and then Samhain, and a drawing inward.
But for now, before my thoughts turn too quickly to red leaves and long evenings, warm comforting foods and chilly mornings, I am enjoying the late summer in my new back yard.
It is like a miraculous faerie garden. It seems like only yesterday it was barren, rocky. And here it is now, basking as if by magic in the soft glow of the porch light. It is grassy, lush, edged with green leaves and flowers, fragrant, and watched over by a small willow tree. The scent of cedar from the new fences and decks adds to the warmth.
A raccoon peers at me from the vines next door, her eyes glowing in the dim light. As I look up past her, I see white clouds floating past our little patch of dark sky, pierced by an indecisive searchlight. On, off, on again. The sounds of the city surround me, but they seem far away at the same time, as I sit below walls and decks and trees, low and near the earth.
It seems it has been a long time since I have sat in a grassy garden at night. Perhaps I have not done this since before I left home, all those years ago, and went to Ireland. Perhaps that is why this reminds me of my childhood garden.
The walled garden. It is an attractive archetype, one I am drawn to again and again, in stories I choose to read and in those I write. There are aspects of magic, of secrecy, of mystery, of seclusion and of nature in this common literary construct. What more could you want? And as I sit here in my own walled garden, I feel complete.