Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer is sweet

Fuchsia beach roses bloom in the sand, flowers in the desert.

Driving to the summer house, I have a hard time keeping my eyes on the road. Bright green vegetation has sprouted everywhere, and flowers in a spectrum of colors line the countryside and spill from cottage gardens.

“June in New England is like a lover’s dream made tangible. Color and scent and sound; the hills indeed sing,” wrote Gladys Taber in “The Book of Stillmeadow.” Dawn comes so fresh and cool, and dusk flows like a still river into the deep sea of night. Noons are tranquil gold. There is nothing stern or sober about our Northern countryside now; even the grey rock ledges are gently blurred with silvery green lichens, and in the great cracks time has chipped out, a thousand tiny plants get a precarious hold.”

Indeed, this is the kind of day that comes to mind in the heart of winter: a benevolent sun, brilliant blue skies, gentle winds and tranquil seas reflecting the Creator’s handiwork.

Fuchsia beach roses bloom in the sand, flowers in the desert.

The huge maple tree in our front yard is so heavy with new growth that walking beneath it is like entering a deep forest shrouded from sunlight and carpeted with thick spongy grass.

Inside the summer house we throw open all the windows, as the salty air comes streaming in.

Then we head out to the shed in search of garden tools to contribute to the abundance of nature around us. The pitchfork is missing a tine, but we begin overturning the earth in the tiny kitchen garden at the back of the shed. The fertile soil comes alive with pink earthworms disturbed from their hiding places. We rake, hoe and plant the tomatoes, while the purple chive blossoms wave in the wind.

Medieval anchoress Julian of Norwich wrote: “Be a gardener. / Dig a ditch, / toil and sweat, / and turn the earth upside down / and seek the deepness / and water the plants in time. / Continue this labor / and make sweet floods to run / and noble and abundant fruits to spring. / Take this food and drink / and carry it to God / as your true worship.”

We sit in the shade, read and chat while we listen to the music of birdsong and the distant sloughing of the surf. 

Summer is sweet.  

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