Wild June is best enjoyed from the back of a horse. Like most other months. We had walked down the shallow slope to the flood-plain and as we reached the grassy path we rolled into a canter without discussing the matter, for Miakoda, my American Paint mare, knows both the place and the routine as well as I do.
And as we cantered the world changed beneath our feet and became still more glorious and I found that I was singing a few lines of Bob Dylan as we made our forward in three-four time:
The sands will roll
Out a carpet of gold
For your weary toes to be a touchin’…
This wasn’t sand, and Mia’s toes weren’t weary, not by a long chalk, but in other ways it was strikingly similar, for there really was a carpet of gold rolled out beneath our feet: a full rolling mile of golden birdsfoot trefoil, a flower that even I can recognise.
We took that carpet in some style, as if it had laid down there for our especial benefit, to do us honour, to bring us joy. Two or thee times a deer broke cover at out feet and briefly joined us in our gilded speed-run: more flowers than I could begin to count or even guess at, shining out in a rare burst of June sun.
When the mile was done Mia pulled herself up, again without a touch from me. We walked on: and still every footfall was golden, and the path alongside the field of barley glowed as if a hundred gardeners had laboured for a hundred days till they got it just right.
Finally we reached the end, the path becoming more green than gold as we neared the hedge, and we then we were through the gap and back onto the hard old road again as if we had passed unwillingly back through the wardrobe.