A couple of weekends ago, despite temperatures soaring again to the upper nineties, Marc and I took to the country. I had decided I wanted fresh lavender. There were several good choices as lavender grows abundantly in this area but I chose Mountainside Lavender Farm. We enjoyed talking to the congenial owner–he was extracting/making lavender oil– and gathering our own fragrant bunches. His little store wasn’t open due to the pandemic but a few items were set out to peruse.
I have to confess that I have had a lifelong fear of bees. It isn’t at phobia-level but I was stung many times roaming barefoot in clover-strewn grasses as a child and have also gotten stung as an adult. I could hear the bees busy at work, a vibrating buzz throughout the lavender plants. There was a sign stating that you cut your bouquets at your own risk, though the owner stated only a handful get stung each season. Marc and I procured baskets and scissors and headed out. He was less concerned, so I thought. I determined I would find a way to get my blooms without regret! When we got to the beautiful rows of standing purple stems, we hesitated. It was quite a suite of bee labor song–perhaps, I thought, they were happy out there, too. Marc started down some wider spaced rows. I was close behind and when he hesitated, I suggested we get right in there and simply ignore them. They were clearly busy. So dive in we did.
I tried to snap photos of clusters of the boundless bees, and was surprised when I failed to capture them–I guess they move too fast!
I was right–just pretending confidence, watching them do what they do, calmed my fears as I reached deeply into plants to hold stems and then snip them off. They didn’t bother us but kept right at it or flew to the next stem or plant. There was plenty for them–and for us. But it was hot, then felt much hotter out there after a hour. We hydrated often, and finally sought shade. I watched others as Marc found the owner to chat–there were only a few folks but they seemed to enjoy themselves, too.
We wandered a bit more before buying our bouquets, sachet and soap.
Until next time, Mountainside Lavender. Our living area at home is now filled with the comforting scent of dried, sweetly pungent lavender.