Wednesday, 16 May 2018

The migratory patterns of stones

What prompted the silent shift of the first stone to start the yearly migration to their new home for the winter months, was still unclear. Was it the search for a warmer patch where Spekbos stand in solitude, or just to shift the balance in the garden?

Maybe I should have noticed the restlessness in the stones much earlier. But, I was distracted by the mass gathering of autumn leaves. The art of listening to stones, if not practised regularly, is lost. I tend to let the ‘silent’ stones do what they do best; keep a circle of order under the oak in summer.

The near motionless trail of stones across the parking area never really surprises me. It is just something that will happen one day, in late autumn and again in early summer. The migratory pattern of the stones is comforting, visible evidence of a shift in seasons.

The silent shift in the garden does not disrupt anything. The space under the oak becomes lighter with indents like memories of stones. Stones that spent a summer in a circle like ancient monuments to a greater natural order.

The line of stones grows shorter as they assemble themselves between the Spekbos, until they are all squared away and ready for winter. They seem to be waiting in anticipation for something to happen. An audience to their summer home.

The empty circle under the oak tree soon exposes the reason for the shifting stones. What prompted the move, was the awakening of the narcissus bulbs that nudged the stones into action. The whole of summer, the narcissus lay dormant under the stones. In late autumn/early winter, subtle changes in nature prompts the sap in the bulbs to rise and push up the gentle spears.

In silent understanding, the stones are nudged into migration. They move to a position where they will bear witness to this yearly display of masses of sweet scented flowers. The stones are happy to give up the stage under the oak tree for the new performance by nature.  Summer’s stony performance will become a winter wonderland of light flowers dancing in the breeze.

I find comfort in the migratory pattern of stones. As much as I enjoy the solid order of the stones under the oak, I do delight in the madness of narcissus that fills the garden with their heady scent.

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