Snuck Up on Me Again
It's Memorial Day Weekend apparently. Just figured it out yesterday. It always happens to me. The rest of the world considers it the beginning of summer and plan barbeques and camping weekends around the date. Me, I'm always out of the loop as our family usually doesn't follow a typical work week or annual calendar.
For me summer begins .... well, I don't know. May 1 at Beltane? "We've been out in the woods all night, a' conjurin' summer in!" May 10? Our local Last Frost Date? (in theory anyway) Time to put out the tomato plants.
This year it's felt like summer to me for the last week or so. One moment we were bundled up against winter cold, making fires in the fireplace at night and the next moment I needed to take a couple quilts off the bed and open all the windows for sleeping.
I have never managed to completely replace my childhood idea that summer is a time for lazing in the shade and reading books, walking in the woods and watching wee faeries flitter about, jumping off the end of the dock to the sound of motorboats across the water. It's been decades, many decades, since that's been the case, but it's still my base on which I imagine my summer.
Since then there's been dozens of other experiences, moments, scents, sounds that I keep in the "this is summer" file in my head. Camping with the kids, car trips, sitting out under the stars, evenings in the garden, starlings and dragonflies swarming, fishing and swimming at the river, kiddie pools, summer television, garage sales, kids in maple tree...... so many moments.
I have so many expectations for this summer. I alternate between excitement at the possibility of fitting most of it in and wondering if such a busy schedule will push out the lazy pleasures of summer, regardless of whether they're real or mostly imagined.
Here in the high country, summer is short and fragile. Right now it's rolled out in front of me with all it's possibilities still sparkling. But in year's past the reality has sometimes been gobbled up by unexpected detours in my plans or forest fires and heat waves that kept me from doing anything but hiding. Not this year. Please. Knock on wood.
This last week I've been extra aware of all the small pleasures of the season. Perhaps by the end of the season I might take for them for granted, but now they're small treasures I'm stumbling upon almost moment by moment.
The smell of someone's barbeque wafting through the neighborhood.
The sound of a mower outside the bedroom window.
Cool sleeping breezes.
The first yellow butterfly of the year, the first blue butterfly, the first silver dragonfly, and then a red dragonfly.
A crop of dandelions in the side yard - or Joli calls them "wishing flowers".
Sun tea brewing on the front step.
Rhubarb peeking up through the weeds near the woodshed.
Winter wardrobe abandoned for capris and faery skirts, tank tops in every color, flip flops on my feet.
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time. ~John Lubbock
Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world. ~Ada Louise Huxtable