A door has opened into summer
Much longed for after the bleak of winter.
You stand at the threshold, the warmth
Seeps into your body, you take a breath.
Ahead lies the dusty twisting road
That will take you between the fields
Where the lush grass is already being cut for hay.
The sun beats down, the cow parsley dazzles you
So you seek the comfort of the orchard.
Where the fruit is forming on the trees
Under the hum of bees, the nuisance of gnats.
Summer’s song beguiles us, lets us dream
Amidst bright flowers, as they devour
The brightness of the day long sun.
All around the mystery of transformation,
From bud to flower to fruit,
Instigated by insects, fulfilling their tiny needs,
Part of the eternal, ephemeral alchemy.
Transcending the cycle of seasons
Slipping sideways from the wheel of life
To cheat the sudden death of winter
Requires a cunning catalyst, the unseen yeast
To raise the spirit of the fruit:
To work its magic on the sun-sweet juice,
To distil summer’s shrivelled ripeness,
To complete the journey of fruit and vine.
Born from the unseen, inner fermentation
Of the useless abundance of autumn
Comes the eternal wine of wisdom
Fully charged with alcoholic zest.
So we drink deeply, we cannot hold back.
Each time it ambushes us, diverts us,
Sets traps for us, tempts us to stray,
Unable to take a sip: “Just one more …”
We want excess, to lose ourselves, our sense of time,
Consuming, filling ours lives
With summer’s richness, forgetting the path.
The leaves are beginning to fall
And the vineyard is golden, red and purple
With only some withered bunches
Hanging low on the retreating vines.
Regrets at having been seduced once more?
No, it was worth it. Every moment.
Did we get the girl, Demeter? No,
She escaped this time. But next year …
© Peter Young 2015
A note on the photographs: The Doorway is to be found at Brockhampton Estate top carpark [52.191630, -2.463966].
The road is the approach to Lower Brockhampton [52.200505, -2.458168] www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brockhampton-estate/
The vines are at the Chateau de Haute-Serre, 46230 Cieurac, near Cahors, France [44.390039, 1.490594] http://www.hauteserre.fr/