And in the Center Ring…

I was trimming back the raspberries while the October wind lifted my hair and wound it into a snarl.  The sun shone, and the garden smelled of the last of summer’s sweet spice mixed with autumn’s smoke and leaf rot – an intoxicating perfume for a gardener.  In the spearmint blossoms and the fireworks of white asters, the bees cavorted and droned, harvesting the last bit of floral yum.

I stood, stretching my back, a six-foot long raspberry cane in my hand, and the madness siezed me – pounced on me like a cat from out of the herbal jungle.  I realized that the cane would make a terrific bull whip!  For a brief moment, I was Indiana Jones battling weed trolls, flicking the whip sideways.  Then, I was a lion tamer, surrounded by powerful beasts possessed of only a gloss of obediance.  I looked about.  Lions.  Where were my lions?  My eyes fell upon the fat, dozy bumbles and industrious honeybees.  Of course, not lions, but tigers!

The whip swirled overhead and lashed out with a crack! above the oblivious creatures.  Unbeknownst to them, I ordered them from their pedestals and through flaming hoops.  I organized them in waltzing concert, the magical raspberry whip snapping in the wild blue air.  The trees rustled their dry hands in whispery applause.  Never once did I touch a bee, or even come close.  The busy troop, if they noticed my crazy dance at all, must have chalked it up to more gardener’s insanity.  Nothing new to them; they indulge me season after season.

Finally, the spell wore thin.  The whip was just a limp and ragged raspberry cane once again, and I was no longer a tiger tamer, but a grubber in the earth, as hard-working as my neighbors in their striped jumpers.  We all settled down to our tasks, enjoying the sun and the playful wind, with only the ghost of a circus calliope threading through the tall grasses of the hay field, flying away to enchant the next unsuspecting gardener.


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