August is the month when the unspoken garden stops and thinks. Things still grow, but the growing is slow. The knowing does its growing. The philosopher saint Augustine (Aurelius Augustinus) said securus judicat orbis terrarium which means ‘the verdict of the world is final’. The unspoken garden is the world and the world is the unspoken garden as it knows no other and neither do I. The unspoken garden has spoken but before it speaks it thinks and it does that in its august time. It decides where it will continue to cogitate and where it will no longer ponder selecting the ground were no more propositions will be laid and the land where its conceptions will continue to go wild.
Give me back my legions famously proclaimed Augustus Formerly Gaius Octavianus And latterly Gaius Julius Caesar Octavius when enemy warriors had annihilated his troops. I will give you endless legions thinks the thoughtful garden. Some this autumn some to sleep through the winter some to herald the spring some to follow it into cover which will in turn make me another summer.
The unspoken garden’s wet womb is the hourglass lake we thought to give it. (Or perhaps we simply heard its command?) The pond is where the garden reflects while myriad nymphs never give thinking a thought as freshwater shrimps and fleas, and larvae volcano through un-sliding mud outwitting dragonfly cadets commando carp and paratrooper newts all of which will swallow on sight and salute the last goodnight.
All the pond’s thoughts are of life-support via water for everyone while never questioning that the only answer is a life for a life. Eat and don’t get eaten. Swallow and swish away to swim another day.
Lazarus rises and looks on. He survived the domestic panther’s jaws. I put him back in the pond thinking he was a goner but the pond in its wisdom thought otherwise and he still lives and many years later he is the biggest fish in the small pond and endlessly parades to prove the notion that it is the water that decides who gets the highest promotion.
The tommies in the greenhouse buff up their red berets and are picked off or leap for their lives but they are not in the plans of the unspoken garden who is, instead, scheduling moss and lichen knowing full well that in the nursery of time the glass and aluminium can be entirely swaddled and once more the world will decide just what is out and what is in side.
We think the smaller apple is the elder tree of the two unquestionably the senior despite the sight of far fewer pips on its shoulders. Each august time both trees decide just how much fruit they will hold and drop but we mustn’t interrupt just yet or they’ll change their minds about how generous they will be next year and the one after that. Meanwhile the unspoken garden is turning over thoughts of the vegetable beds determining what it will tolerate where and which orphans it might adopt and foster. The grass whispers wondering what it will be required to do while the privets on parade along the boundaries prepare to take a savaging but entertain no other consideration than to reinforce stronger as they always do every time.
And thus each branch of the unspoken garden has its mind made up by the single mastermind in the everlasting underground bunker.
Its badge bears its Augustine motto securus judicat orbis terrarium ‘the verdict of the world is final’. The unspoken garden is our part of the world and as September stalks it has arrived at its Augustine verdict. Will we be allowed to serve another year? It knows but isn’t saying.