Friday, June 08, 2012

Good thymes

Anyone who ever read Edward Eager's "thyme" travel stories as a child appreciates all the magical possibilities of this herb. I still wonder, like the characters in Eager's books, if I crush the scented leaves of creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum Coccineus), will I find myself transformed into a baby crawling on all fours?  And a sniff of orange thyme takes me where? To a fruit farm in California or Florida? What delicious adventures are hinted by pink lemonade thyme, coconut thyme, or lime thyme?

Carefully stewarding my youthful sense of wonder, I remain open to the possibility of a flight of fantasy from my workaday world.  So my garden always has space for thyme.  Right now, a blooming carpet of creeping thyme is cascading over the front stone wall. Around the back, common thyme (Thymus vulgaris)  has settled in next to a bed of mint. (I like pretty shiny sparkly things just enough to enjoy that time trip.)

And a little clump of lemon thyme (Thymus x citriodorus) is flourishing in an herb pot. 

I'm not big on garden ornaments, but how wonderful would be a sundial with some cryptic horological inscription--"Heed also the shadows which inform the light" or my personal motto, "Festina lente"--to convey oneself back to a leisurely childhood afternoon of reading fantasy books on the lawn. Or maybe a sundial reading "Knowledge is the sun of youth's bright day." 

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