Wednesday, June 23, 2004


As I work in the garden these early summer days, for tantalizing moments I'm suddenly deep in a fragrance that whispers beauty through the air, an evocative scent whose source I can't identify. I try to track it, walk around sniffing the breeze for a scented trail but it's elusive; I end up standing by the road, looking off across the meadows for a likely cluster of wildflowers, or maybe a blossoming tree in the distance, but see nothing that might be the source of this singular perfume, now here, now gone. It's past the snowbell's time... Then back in the garden I realize I'm standing right beneath it, the sneaky thing: it's the chestnut tree, white-edged as if by inner light with catkins, that I hadn't associated with such a scent...

In the rush of new warmth, like feathery scent wicks the catkins (wondeful word for those tiny pussycat tails) send out their perfume on the high breeze to attract butterflies for the days and moths for the nights; the source was hard to locate because it's meant for butterflies and moths, not for me; or at least-- since I could detect it just now and then-- only when I'm a butterfly...

"The leaves, twigs, bark, and even the flowering catkins and the spiky cases of the nuts are astringent, and so can be used to help control bleeding, to aid healing, and in cases of diarrhea. Chestnut leaves also furnish a tea that soothes irritated mucous membranes and hence relieves the symptoms of whooping cough or any cough due to irritation."

Foto and quote from Herbs2000


No comments: