Midsummer Meditation by Sara Wright

It is past “midsummer” and we are moving into the hottest time of the year without a drop of nourishing, healing rain… When I walk around outdoors I find myself focusing on the many different ferns that grace the forest edges – ferns that hold in precious moisture creating damp places for toads and frogs to hide, places for young trees to sprout, places for the grouse and turkey to hide their nestlings, ferns whose lacy fronds bow low as if in in prayer. Sweet fern covers the hill above and around the brook.

The Ostrich ferns are giant bouquets that sprout up around Trillium rock shielding tender wildflower roots. Maidenhair is being devoured by insects, sadly, the only fern having difficulty here. New York ferns are stiff with ladder like fronds and the few cultivars provide soft shades of dark red, blue and green.  Along my woodland paths the tall pale green bracken stalks have to be pulled although I leave all that I can around the edges to protect the mosses. All the ferns are forever unfurling in a state of becoming, spiral gifts for any discerning eye.

Ferns are just one of nature’s ways of dealing with drought. Without this lacy lime, fading emerald, delicate gray green arrow shaped leaves bending back to the earth the soil would crack because it is already so parched; I imagine I can feel the stress of thirsty plant roots. Small leaves are yellowing and falling from fruit trees in June.

I find myself wondering what mycelium highways are being created beneath the surface of the soil. The hyphal root tips are seeking water to feed what plants? Nearby trees? New seedlings? We know from Scientist Monica Gagliano’s work that these mycorrhizal fungi hear the brook’s barely rippling water and are making their way to its source… but I can only imagine this… I cannot see it. I do however, trust nature’s ability to adapt, and this knowledge brings me the greatest comfort of all. Nature can be trusted; S/he has seemingly endless ways of managing even during the destructive age of the Anthropocene. Nature was the first ecofeminist!

When I meander around the house under the thick shade of the many trees I planted so many years ago, feel the soft moss beneath my feet, and smell the scent of moist air and water preserved in part because of my effort to work with nature, I cannot help but give thanks for living in this hollow, a well forested glen, where I find reprieve from the harsh summer sun and the rain that will not come…


Sara is a naturalist, ethologist ( a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Maine.

Categories: Earth-based spirituality, Eco-systems, Ecofeminism, Nature, Women's Spirituality

Tags: , , , ,

7 replies

  1. Thank you for guiding us among the ferns and letting us feel the life of the forest hollow where you live. And thank you for reminding us of how the earth cares for all the life that she is. We finally had rain on Saturday and are now having a week of thunderstorms spiraling through. Wishing you sweet mother rain. Here’s a poem I sing:

    sweet mother rain, come down,
    wrap us in your grey shawl
    round and round and round.
    touch the tender life
    deep, deep underground
    sweet mother rain, come down.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What a fantasy your life seems to me! I live in an urban neighborhood with palm trees, jacarandas, and other trees I cannot name. Those trees live mostly between streets and sidewalks. I’m sure they get thirsty, too. Here in SoCal, we almost into the heat and dryness of summertime. Having read your posts, I almost think I’d like to be in Maine for the summer. Bright blessings to all of us!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. well hardly a fantasy but it is beautiful here – especially since it finally is raining after almost two months… drought is a scary thing and the summer I spent in New Mexico during that 2018 drought with all the fires burning was the most frightening of all. Especially for someone with breathing problems. I wish for you a not too hot summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • II have a friend who’s Navajo & has her hogan near Vanderwagon, N. M. Although, blessedly, they’ve had no fires there, the smoke from the reservation in Az. has been terrible. I’m glad to hear that it rained out there recently!


  4. Sara, I appreciated this message today… that nature adapts. And we are nature, so we adapt. I have needed to do a lot of adapting lately. This was comforting. <3


  5. I found your essay to be most comforting, too. And rich. And delicious:)


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