“ Every leaf speaks bliss to me. Fluttering from the autumn tree.” – Emily Bronte, “Fall , Leaves, Fall”
During the last days of summer, I decided a wander through the tiny garden patchwork of our neighbourhood and the still lush green canopy of the forest would still the longing for a season not yet passed.
The community garden at the edge of the park that once showcased stunning lilies and a swathe of fragrant sweet pea vines, now welcomes a multitude of berry-coloured rosehips, jewel-like berries and gently swaying sunflowers. There is still enough colour to attract bumblebees and butterflies – the sunny yellows, cobalt blue and creamy pinks reminding me to gather up these remaining summer days, to keep them close even as the uppermost leaves of the rain deprived trees start to change.
My feet took me on a different route today through the tall firs and cedars to my writerly spot at the Urban Forest Café (soon to close for the season and be reborn in October under a different moniker). The path I walked skirted the Rose Garden where the many bushes still held their showy blooms sharing that heavenly scent, at the end of that magical meander, I came upon a Narnia-like lamppost I must have walked by many times, never noticing the simple plaque at the base. It originally stood illuminating the Georgia Viaduct downtown before being restored and donated to Stanley Park, its carved stone and milky globe whispering gently of a storied past.
The late summer breeze carried the clean country scent of the Mounted Police horses stabled nearby as I breathed in pure oxygen mingled with the mystery of the trees, their aromatic oil tickling my nostrils as they soothed longings not ready to be named yet. I’ve sat here at the café at least once a month this season to write on these pages with a golden chai tea dancing on my taste buds surrounded by greenery, cheeky black crows and today, a mama raccoon ambled by my small table with 6 babies in tow!
This last week of true summer is warmer than normal and the coolness of this green space is an oasis from the bright sun. It’s been a pleasure to find myself here, reading a few pages from a recently found book on a library visit or writing down thoughts inspired by a forest garden nestled near a vibrant city. There is news that our part of the world may be in for a wetter fall than normal, so any burgeoning longing will have to be put away for another day, it’s time to get out there.