HighSummer

HighSummer
"Gilded clouds greet each sunrise and surrender every evening."

Lupin blossoms creep up the small hill out back, starting at the bottom in late June. By mid-July, they've moved into the backyard. Yarrow stretches out of the garden bed. The damned deer have been gnawing off the rhubarb leaves again. Conifers finished their pollen throwing to settle into being background again. Rabbits wander freely. A gang of turkey vultures wheels overhead searching for untimely death. Grasses recently greening from the ground up have set this year's seed and begun their browning from the top down. I set my sprinklers in pre-dawn darkness before the breeze kicks in.

Windows stay wide open day and night. We chase the few flies that enter through the screen door we cannot seem to remember to close behind us.
We are in and out then back inside again, the distinction losing any real meaning. I drape myself in long sleeves and long pants, remembering my hat and water bottle, for the sun can feel fierce on my face and arms. Birds own the place now, flitting freely between treetops. Magpies continue complaining, though I've learned to interpret their griping as song. Days seem long enough to fully contain themselves with little left over.

The produce stand suddenly stocks far more than canned goods and canning supplies, dried beans and onions. It's Adventureland with a delight around each corner, within every bin. Green beans finally look worth considering. The fresh peas are done. Bundles of fresh dill thrill my senses. The first real local melons appear. The Muse reports that she's using the last quart of our home-canned tomatoes while concocting a fresh tomato/basil soup, serving it as the sun goes down. Canning time draws nearer. The deck garden comes into full scent, with Sweet William and Petunia vigorously blooming. The flag luffs listlessly over the yard.

The neighbors return with grandparents in tow, neighbor kids giggling in the shared side yard. A dog walker passing by yells that whatever I'm grilling smells terrific. I thumb up my reply. The grass that passes for our lawn can't seem to stop growing and wants mowing more than once a week. I can't keep up with its enthusiasm, though I consider its memory superior to my meager one when it comes to recalling the cold isolation of last winter and the even colder winter before. Winter seems like unbelievable fiction now, a fading sorry dream. I awaken to cool, move through warm, then fall asleep in blessed cool again, shivering gratefully through the short night. Gilded clouds greet each sunrise and surrender every evening.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved










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