Thursday, August 6, 2009
High summer. Although I could do without the mosquitoes and high humidity, this is really my favorite time of year. On sunny days, dog-day cicadas hum in the trees from noon until dusk. On cloudy days, gray tree frogs take over the chorus. Usually by this time of the season, the grass has turned brown and crunches underfoot, but this year we have had more than our share of rain, leaving everything green and lush.
There is a certain smell in the air now, especially at night. The trees are long past the blossoming stage, their flowers withered and blown away, and a new fragrance wafts through the yards. It's the smell of skunk cabbage and cut grass, vegetable gardens and clean sheets hung on backyard clotheslines. It is the fragrance of ferns, mushrooms and muddy riverbanks. It's the warm smell of summer in the Northeast.
Birds and dragonflies dart in crazy trajectories through the airspace of Catbird Heaven, and cottontail bunnies graze in the late afternoon on the clover and dandelions, while tufts of lacey, white cloud drift lazily across a deep blue sky.
Often, if I have a few free hours, I go for a short drive to my parent's house and I float on my back for a while in their small, crystal-clear pool, staring up at the branches of the oak trees that surround it. I watch the birds play tag among the green leaves, which are gilded by the mid-afternoon sunlight, and I admire the dappled patterns of light that dance on the water.
Last night, the full "Sturgeon" moon glowed pink as it hung low in the hazy sky. Snow crickets trill in the gardens after dark, and Rigby washes her feet in the dew that soaks the lawn at night and lingers into the morning.
I'm trying to take a little time every day and drink my fill of this season; to breathe it in and let it become part of me, so it will never leave.
I know that in the cold, dark heart of January, it will be nothing but a sweet and distant memory.