In this season of mists and mellow fruitfulness the harvest has been good and we thank and bless the fruits of the Earth that have given themselves for our nourishment, as we sometimes say before a meal amongst other prayers.
Apples, figs and almonds have been good and the two hundred year old olive trees are loaded with fruits which will be ready for picking to press for our own olive oil round about Christmas time.
The hills that surround and protect our little valley have been shrouded in fine fogs for some while now, but this morning we woke to a floating sensation being so completely surrounded by a cloud that we could not even see the garden fence at its nearest point of 5 metres and this is just as the mist is clearing!
In the summer we pray for clouds, but even when rain is forecast we are often protected by our circle of hills. The mains water is of course for the house alone and we rely on our connection to an agricultural water supply for our trees and plants.
Having said that, we have had an unusually high amount of rain this year and certain of our desert like plants have let us know that this is not what they want! As was said to us recently, the Agaves, as tall as me, here they are in their prime, and Agave Americano got drunk with water and literally fell over and now the older Palm trees in the lower part of the plot where the water collects before soaking away have begun to topple their heavier, lower fronds.
Moisture or lack of it has played an important role in our adventure here in the campo or countryside of Spain, and in the hot months an occasional, but welcome, cloud is all that is needed to reduce the glare and heat of the sun to the house to a more manageable measure for us to be able to work outside to tend our fruit and nut trees, but which hardly ever leads to showers, which is why most of our neighbours take their holidays in the month of August.
The Cloud, of course, has taken on a new meaning in its ability to store our correspondence, data and photos, etc., in what we are led to believe is a secure site somewhere in the ether, but in truth of course is a bank of data held in some manmade machine. Secure? Of course until some bright spark finds a way to hack the contents of millions of private details.
Sorry to sound a sour note, but that’s the way I feel about the ability to rely on things out of your control and open to others to use or abuse. I would rather try to maintain my own local security such as it is. But let’s face it, when you leave yourself open to the vagaries of others then who can you blame but yourself?
Secondly and naturally perhaps, gone are the days when we could leave our doors open to those whom we could trust and now to have things in our house worth taking we are in effect issuing an open invitation to those less fortunate than ourselves or intent on robbery to take advantage of our wealth, such as it is, under cover of darkness or of a cloud of their own making, which it seems can be a gas to fill our house with sleep and help themselves to everything we possess.
Clouds like fogs and deep lakes are natural hiding places of mystery where swords of warrior kings and lords of the past were thrown, where no doubt the myth of Excaliber emerged.
However in view of our experience of the fickle nature of real clouds as we have come to know them, we are still not confident enough to trust the total security of a manmade Cloud as yet, especially as the way man has manipulated the weather so badly leaves much to be desired.
But back to this morning: It was almost an unsteadying feeling as we looked outside to find ourselves floating in the mist like a mask of gauze preventing us from seeing and making our feet feel unsteady to the point of wobbling in our wander down the otherwise stable marble stairway to breakfast.
Apart from the feeling of clamminess we know that unlike the smog of cities this is a natural low lying cloud, pure and breathable and unnecessary for us to use a manmade surgical protective mask, which so many in the metropolis of places like Beijing must employ due to their own proliferation of pollution.
I lost count of the number of times we prayed for clouds to bring us rain for the garden, not realising the effect that more than usual would have on the plants which normally thrive here in sunny Spain.
Perhaps our clouds are more evidence of the changing climate of the Earth?
Whatever your climate we trust that you will enjoy the proximity of the Earth and the Planet’s energies without drought or doubt, with Love from which all else flows, Hanukah & the Angel