two black raspberries, fat in my mouth
discussing something urgent on the path -
one for sorrow, two for
mirth, three for a wedding - or is that only counting crows?
butterfly weed, mugwort, dogsbane, sycamore, wild onions
walkers, panting their words,
miss the deer stepping suddenly from
the woods ahead.
i wait for its white flag of alarm, but it just
lowers its head and eats.
my own thoughts are jostled with my
steps, no form, no count,
but they leave a residue on my skin
after i get home.
~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~
There is something about summer that promises something false: my brain has been trained since childhood to consider summer as a long stretch of timelessness, with evenings that stretch so much further towards night, and days of near-boredom, with so much time to contemplate things like clouds and grass, which is always lush and green in memory. In reality it is crackly brown.
There is the good and the bad of it, and the neither, the Just Is. There is the rush for berries, so ripe just now, under the flap of birds' wings, but spent by next week as the wished-for rain holds off another day. There is the constant whir of hummingbird at our window, sipping the monarda and the simple syrup we've left out. There is the river, so low and shallow that we walk across it, braving the garbage and the mysteries of the bottom (oh, I do not want to know), just to say we have crossed.
The quick rain feels like such redemption from the dried up and stingy feelings of dry ground and heavy air. After so much sweat and lethargy we feel as though we've earned the cool breeze and look! Energy to write words after so many dog days. The looks of angry, itchy boredom have disappeared, and the rain has eased everyone into their little pockets of calm...(how long will it last??)
In reality, we have been so busy. There is so much Out - picking berries, watering the garden, pulling our very successful weeds. Hiking and market and snake dissection and whittling and writing and reading and boating and...Knowing that the fall gets so busy, I worry about our summer, but then suddenly there is a day like today: painting garden sticks and reading about the Ice Age (gleefully. over breakfast. giggling.), playing the blues on the piano, lemon balm tea, measuring of sunflowers, and a date with Papa to see a play to anticipate, and I think - ah. Summer. Though the ironweed is blooming too soon, the thunderstorms are looming over our forecast, and flashfloods are the worry of too much quick rain after drought, we are finding ourselves squarely in tomatoes-and-basil Summer, and what is there to do but enjoy?