As is the sparkling tenacity of the humble spider to thrust out glittering and webbed lifelines to create the opportunity of acquiring new fruits, so it is that I believe the natural world, with pristine elegance, flings its invisible webs onto me, tying onto and pulling in my beating heart towards it so that I may lose myself in the ceaseless bounties of its sensual wonders. Having parted from my car many, many years ago and in its stead choosing to walk, plus complimented with my love for gardening, I am an excitable witness to the extraordinary ballet of the changing seasons. Often jumping up and down with the sprightly eagerness of a little girl as I rush about to announce to everyone that I have spotted the delicate petals of the first white snowdrop flower, the hopeful symbol of the cessation of winter and the dawn humming of spring, I have always been fascinated by the connection I share with Mother Nature. How to tell You of the countless times of how the observation of the hoppy red-breasted robin or the deep crimson eyes of holly berries put a merry skip in my step, desperate to put into words of what was seen into my diary entry for the day, how could one ever be tired of the natural world?! Lambs being born, chestnuts swaying in crisp autumn air and the heady scent of bonfires in November, I cannot be kept away from the stunning drama that continuously weaves in front of me when I step out of my front door. Magic is never more than an arm’s length away, if only – yes, if only – You are acrobatic of mind and willing to believe in it.
To this end, I invite You to my latest short-as-a-short-biscuit adventure! Can You guess the loudness of the fanfare that shook my ears to a happy jelly when my friend, Suzi, told me that she was going to take me and our mutual mate, Agnes, down to the Long Barn Lavender Farm in Alresford for a snippy pampering break away from our busy lives! Indeed, I WAS IN SEVEN HEAVEN!!!
Traditionally renowned for its medicinal properties as a calming herbal sedative, aiding restful sleep and soothing the nerves of those feeling a tad bit frayed, Lavender is one of my favourite flowers in the botanical world and I am pleased to say that I grow two varieties in my own garden from which I concoct handmade lavender and camomile teas, a perfect brew to be enjoyed iced in the summer or as a steamy beverage for when the long, cold, winter nights draw in, a perfect tipple just before bedtime. Should You ever come and visit me in my house I promise to host You with these delicious specimens – and will even pop a hand-sewn tiny sachet of lavender flowers in Your pocket to invoke calmness in times of difficulty.
It is a mild and tranquil fragrance and a most beloved friend in the floral kingdom. When we arrived I could make out its pleasant scent even before my visual faculties had a chance to make contact, as if the soul of something sublime and mysterious and yet familiar had leapt out of its physical cage to greet me! Wreaths of heart-shaped bundles of the flower and wide fields of its purple canopies opened up its pages before me, a profoundly exotic impression. I grew its relative in modest amounts back home, but here on the farm it was different. A Mecca of swaying purple heads, each a little pupil of scent that vied for my attention. I was humbled, terribly and beautifully humbled.
That is exactly the reason why, with majestic application of discipline, I refused to photograph any of the lavender flowers. Photography cannot impart the ecstasy that binds the olfactory domain, it must be felt in person otherwise You risk losing its authenticity to an unfair demotion. All three of us simply breathed in the sweetness of the earthly-bound purple clouds and vibrantly chatted over lavender tea, conveniently stratified with moist rich raspberry and lemon drizzle cake whilst wistfully looking out over fields and fields of floral spells that surely, in such vast quantities, I imagined to have the power to enchant an eternal sleep of peace for whomsoever fell into her heavenly scented bosom.
HOWEVER, photography was not strictly dismissed!
Whilst I was at Long Barn my aura was drawn to the energies of a few intriguing features that I believe are strongly of relevance or correlation to my beloved Reader. There is one particular Reader I wish to dedicate this story to, whom I saw in my dream last night – he handed me a gift that was messily but lovingly wrapped in purple, it was followed by a warm and wholesome hug that saw me waking up this morning with a smile that tasted accurately of the beauties of all the four seasons. For You today, allow me to profuse Your tired and weary Soul with the healing needles of a treasured purple flower… :)) :)) :))
Your Eternal Seamstress Of Pen & Flowers,
“Ask a sincere gardener the magical ingredients that lie behind the wonderful theatre of lushness and growth that sees seeds turn into flowers and they will speak of the basic potions of Light, water and food, but then will edge closer and touch Your arm and, in an assured whisper, reveal that those things simply lend height and girth; only Friendship, the truest and unweatherable kind, will add an impossibly incomprehensible depth of colour, the God-hand whom painters tirelessly seek…”
“It is absurd a misconception that one needs muscles – sorry – mussels to ride my favourite wheel-eyed invention, and for those of You suffering an abominable ‘total black out’ at the mind’s horizon, may I ardently suggest that, like the quirky example I am, You ought to pack Your bags and go off trotting, though by that I do not mean shifting from country to country. To see in Orange Vision You must brave new worlds, some of the most perilous frontiers do not exist on maps, they perniciously inhabit within us…”
“Like the festive mistletoe under which a kiss wanted is a kiss granted, inside the farm’s wooden-beamed barn, I secretly smiled under the lightbulb and wished that my Soulmate could leap through space and time and meet me at this spot. Dear ‘Paddington’, should You be reading this know that we do not have to wait for Christmas to exchange a kiss, any light fixture would be happily obliging to act as an intermediary, a hanging ball of sweet Orange marmalade to watch us as we bind lips together…”
“I bought two items from the barn shop: Scented candles are a staple property of the ambience of my home in the long winter months, I light them from early evening until bedtime, often writing by their Light and whenever my eyes catch sight of its thin wispy flame I am reminded, with poetic fluency, that even in the most impenetrable depth of night, children of the Sun are by my side to guide my writing hand through the snow forests of white paper. The second of the items I saw in a dream, given to me by a Loving hand – he was terrible at wrapping but it was his inadequacy and effort that made it altogether more priceless…”
“And, here is that mystery object which was concealed inside the wrapping. A square tea coaster bearing the charming illustration of someone whom I have an undying affection for rests on my bookshelf; I shall reserve Your own interpretative faculties to absorb the timelessness of the message…”
Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Long Barn Lavender Farm | Alresford | UK 2015