As the summer gasps, shivers and begins to breathe its last, it can be a helpful balm to remember the season at its most quintessential. For me, that usually involves a combination of landscapes, food and people, all of which were mixed together at perfect potency one weekend in early August.
I’d just returned from a long-awaited trip to Denmark, and indeed once this high point was past it felt like the summer must already be winding down. My friends had other ideas though: one of them called me and asked if a group could come up to Parstein for the weekend. It didn’t take me long to accept, and of course the offers of food and wine and cooking sessions together only sweetened the deal.
It was on the first evening, actually only hours after we’d arrived, that we all hit on the idea of taking a walk in the fields. It was August, after all, already, and that meant the long summer nights were not long for this world. We chose a path between Stolzenhagen and Lunow, one that J and I had walked before and spotted dozens of wildflowers in all different colors. The early apple trees would be almost at ripeness as well, so we were sure not to return empty-handed. As we got out of the car and ambled along, the girls separated from the boys in minutes, as one of our lot began picking flowers and forming a bouquet.
My friend Anjali had already expressed interest in flower arranging, but I have to admit I underestimated her talents. She’d already put together a bundle from what was growing in our garden, but this was absolutely magnificent. As we walked along the bouquet grew bigger and more elaborate, as did the wide-ranging fields of flower and corn. Suddenly, Lunow was in sight, but the boys were nowhere to be found. “I’ll bet they’ll be at the pub,” I joked, knowing there was only one in town and in fact in the entire region. One phone call later and it turned out I was right. We settled down for a drink in the rapidly fading light before making our way back across the fields at dusk.
The bouquet found a vase, the vase found a tabletop, and even now, six weeks later, the dried wildflowers give off the faintest whiff of hay and chamomile and fresh grassy perfume when you walk in the room.
(Click on any photo to be taken to the gallery)