The monsoon has departed Chiang Mai now, the waters have subsided and our land is fully fed. The colours are so vibrant in the hedgerows and the landscape, thick, bursting with the energy brought by the rains and the sun. Rivers running free cut through the profusion of wild vegetation that gorges itself on an abundance of nature’s tears.
The spider lays out her welcome mat for unsuspecting visitors and the forest teams with life, cackling away in the myriad languages of nature. The Lam Yai fruit was harvested two months ago, the farmers have pruned and fed the trees and cleaned the ground in the hope of more next year. This year the crop was average. The beauty of nature is that you never know what it will bring, big or small as long as disease and pestilence keep their distance we accept whatever is provided and are grateful for it.
The last of the cauliflowers are off to market, papaya trees are exhausted by their daily duty, giving birth to countless offspring and ever more fruit, so, deservedly, they take a well earned rest. The dazzling clarity of the early morning light slices through the leaves and branches and turns muddy fish ponds into almost perfect mirrors.
Coconut trees have had their fill of the abundant waters they love so much and banana trees reach ever skywards showering us with delicious offerings. Cha-om, cienda, phrik (chilli), garlic, kapow and the variety of spinach, pag boong (wild), pag gad, pag kom continue to supply us with the veggies and herbs necessary to sustain us. Apart from a little care these are free; gifts of nature. The lemon trees are heavy and over stocked with the hard dark green fruit of the orient.
But now the rice is nearly ready to be harvested. The first crop of our staple food, that will sustain us for six months before the second harvest is reaped.
Acre upon acre, rai upon rai of golden ears wave at me in the gentle cool early morning breeze from chilly Russia and China in the north. Brilliantly illuminated by the rising sun in a cloudless azure blue sky. The clarity of the colours, the shadows and the reflections in the water tie the whole magic kaleidoscope together at, this, the most exquisite time of year in Chiang Mai.