Another Ode to Summer, for I shan’t acknowledge an autumn which does not truly begin until the September Equinox, on the 22nd day of this month. Yes, school is back in session. Yes, the nights are cooler, some mornings even crisp. But I must sing of my love for the summer until the last verse fades softly…
“I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips.” ~Violette Leduc, Mad in Pursuit
Black dirt. Green grass. Blue sky.
Baby pepper plants taking over where lettuces and radishes have been as spring turns into summer.
Sunshine in my heart.
Peppery, edible Nasturtiums.
July 15th was the first red tomato day. They have been steady ever since. Snapdragons grow in odd spaces among the rocks and borders.
Steady, brilliant potentilla blooms yellow all summer long. Hollyhocks rule the world.
As many unplanned flowers grow here as the ones I actually placed. Seeds from year’s past in re-used pots shout “surprise” throughout the long, summer days.
The self-seeded and stately sunflowers, heliotropers all, each have their own “face,” their own look and personality. This is the Crowned Prince, not the flashiest or most obvious, but the smartest among them all. He observes everything happening in the garden, including my bungling attempts at transcendence in soil, and wisely discerns how to bring healing and balance, extending grace where needed, though undeserved.
“Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its’ fragrance may spread abroad. Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.” Song of Solomon 4.16
And now? I dine on fresh produce and cut little bundles of flowers and enjoy the reward of dirt under my nails, and pulling weeds and nurturing seedlings and digging holes and watering young plants and hauling manure and mixing plant food concoctions and enduring the heat of the day and being attacked by mosquitoes and cussed out by mama spiders and pricked by thorns and enthralled by the scent of five types of basil and beguiled by the perfume as I caress the thuriferous leaves of the rosemary in passing. I am compensated so far beyond any effort I have invested. In the garden is food for my soul.