Sunday, October 05, 2008

Golden Brown Harvest – Finsbury Park

Sunday September14, 2008:

We are in the month of vine. It does not speak to me. I feel lost in knowing nothing about it and feel somehow alone and abandoned.

Back in the reality of the world, now that I more or less know my near future, my glumness descends like a damp fog, clinging to my hair, dripping off my nose as tears course their way down my cheeks. My mood lowers and drags at me. I yearn for the trees, yet like in a dream, something stops me getting there, something that I can’t name.

It is early. No one stirs. I creep under the hop draped across the willow arch, flanked by two robust but youthful olive trees. I touch the four petelled and mildly sticky hairy leaves.

Tenderly I stroke the soft hanging hops, bell-like, still half closed as though not quite awake yet. I breathe their crushed grass, green rosy pinkness, their subtle woody tawnieness, and their ambary beery thirst-quenching freshness. Hidden under my festooned arch, I call the spirit of the hop to come to me.

He is A thousand shades of brown, laced with gold. He shimmers before me. A myriad of leaves that are his body turn and flutter in the morning breeze.
The shadows shift and he is gone, replaced by the rows and rows of tall hops, each row with its own picker, reaching up and tossing down each strand of hanging heads into great wooden casks behind them. They look a bit familiar but I don’t know who they are.

Light shifts, leaves ripple and a neatly dressed, trim and elegant flower-face girl with close bonnet stares out at me. The light shifts again and I see her face is old beyond old and her slimness a skeletal thinness. Stil she watches me and I bow in acknowledgment and with respect although I don’t know who she is.

Touching the leaves with my fingers, gently stroking the soft papery hop, a delicate cup, I breathe in the morning perfume and the heady richness under the arch. Into my mind comes the Feri Flower Prayer. Softly, I whisper it to the swinging hops.

“Who is this flower above me?
What is the work of this god?
I would know myself in all of my parts.”

I breathe again deeply, blowing out a kiss to the hops. “I would know myself in all of my parts”, I repeat as I stroked the trembling vine.

“Then gathering your harvest, for it is yours” whispered the flower-faced goddess standing amongst the tall arches of hops.

Curled in a pool of sunlight on the ground in the clearing, I lie, half folded in the rough blanket. I am safe. I am warm, cocooned in my scratchy old blanket. I feel very young.

“Gather in your harvest, for it is yours and you have worked hard for it”. Whispered the papery flower-faced she, brown and gold and all shades inbetween, shaking in the morning breeze.

The delicate hop tickles my nose. I breathe again its gentle soothing perfume. I run a finger experimentally across a hairy leaf in admiration. Folding my hands, I bow to the hop and walked back through the garden.


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