Saturday, January 30, 2010
This is moonrise on an early winter evening in late January. Rockets of cedar (Juniperus virginiana), an ancient Japanese weeping cherry, red maples, a fringe of still, icy cold vegetation edge the aperture of sky. As I walked out to look, it was a magical moment, just at the transition from light to dark.
The sky is mediator between the garden and the black, empty darkness of space in which the Earth, and we, exist - an ad hoc creation, an illusion simulated by our human perception of the small spectrum of electromagnetic radiation we call light. The beacon of the rising full moon brings me closer to an awareness of this connection. The garden becomes an almost spiritual place of transition from the quotidian affairs of a work day at home to a moment of mystery on the border of infinity. In all seasons, at all times of day or night, the sky projects a feeling, a mood - somber quietness on cloudy winter days, translucent inner glow of wetness in spring, optimism on those halcyon early summer days, blinding, insufferable heat and dryness of high summer, abundance turning to ripeness, and eventually ferment and rot, of autumn.
Thoughts of seasons to come, again and again, but eventually to end, for me, for us all. I think I'll always associate gardens with death. Not in a morbid way, but with a sense of peace and rest, something of the idea of paradise - not, god forbid, the idea of heaven up there beyond that cold, dark sky - but some earthly paradise of nonbeing.
What does all this have to do with the garden? Everything, don't you think?