Monday, June 05, 2006

The Best of Summer

Clematis , copyright 2006, Joan Z. Rough

I've never been fond of summer in Virginia. I spent 20 years living in northeastern Vermont and I've never quite gotten used to the heat and humidity that we experience in this part of the world, especially during July and August. My favorite season of all here is the fall ... crisp October with a bit of Indian Summer thrown in is just perfect. Then there is luscious spring and the greening of every corner of my world. Winter here isn't too bad either. I enjoy the cold weather and don't mind the snow if there isn't too much of it. That leaves summer last in line and as June winds its way into July, I often experience a feeling of dread.

Last year I decided that every June, I would make a list of all the things that I really do love about the summer, rather than wishing the time away until the first frost coats the garden and I detect woodsmoke in the evening air.

So here is my list or at least a start:

The colors ... the gold and brown of blackeyed susans, the blues, greens and yellows of hosta growing in the shade, the pink and orange of echinacea and all of the other plants that grace my garden. I love weeding at twilight or early in the morning.

The farmer's market ... juicy heirloom tomatoes, basil, dill and mint ... fresh raspberries, blueberries and the best peaches in the whole world ... corn on the cob dripping with butter ... locally grown cantelope and watermelon ... and bouquets of flowers I don't grow myself.

I love sitting on my screened-in porch at dusk watching the night come on. The way the light slowly fades and the night music begins ... frogs, toads, locusts, an owl in the distance. I love lightning bugs and remembering how as a child I used to catch them in a jar ... the moon reflected on the river.

Early morning bird song ... the wood thrush ... blue birds ... humming birds ... goldfinches ... carolina wrens ... cardinals and mockingbirds ... watching them bathe in the birdbath and feeding their young at the feeders.

I love sudden afternoon showers and the coolness they bring. I love going outside into the heat after being in air conditioned rooms for too long ... then when I can't stand it any more, going back inside.

I love knowing that the hours pass the same way they do in the winter, only we get more light. I love Labor Day and remembering my excitement as we'd get ready to go back to school.

So that's my list. On the negative side there aren't that many things ... only heat and humidity.


deirdre said...

I love this list of small things, the delicious moments of summer. I'm in Northern California where the summers are dry and hot and the hills turn golden brown by early June. I love that color as much as I hunger for them to green up again in the rainy winter. Thanks for reminding me.

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