Thursday, June 28, 2007


Ah, what a pleasure
to cross a stream in summer--
sandals in hand.

--Yosa Buson--

Last night, in true summer form, a thunderstorm rolled in all around the house just after the children had been settled into bed. I dashed outside to move all of my perpetually thirsty plants out into the rain to let them drink deeply, indiscriminately. I saved the document I'd been working on, my laptop warm from so many words, and followed M. out onto the front porch to watch the weather. I settled onto the bench beside him, rain blowing in over my bare legs, then--the streetlamp at the edge of our driveway flared eerily bright for one moment before plunging fiercely out. We ran into the house, knowing as parents do, that all nightlights had also extinguished and we would have a houseful of shaken children, all just a fraction away from sleeping.

I lit my candles, we pulled them from their darkened rooms and sat together in the den. Rosie started singing almost immediately, as if her sweet clear voice could drive off the shadows...and M. grabbed his guitar to accompany her. Her song was silly and tender, provoking fits of laughter from the rest of us. Next, Boy-o told a scary story about raindrops that sliver under doorjambs and spatter through windowpanes intent, apparently, on nothing more than scaring people and "making them chilled". Petunia struggled to sit closer to the candelabra so she could read her book in the flickering light. An hour passed in this way before they yawned more than they spoke, and we'd rounded up flashlights to tuck into bed with them. We all tossed and turned, restless from the electricity in the air and the stirring of the clouds until, at 2am, the power was restored and we blinked awake with the lamps kicking back on.

Ah, what a pleasure--wild nights of storms in summer...

Last summer, I took a month in late-July to ease my way off-screen and into the sunlight. This year, this impulse is striking earlier. So, July will be about picking shells and celebrating birthdays. A nephew is turning three, a niece turning two, and my sweet-sweet Rosie turning four. My younger brother is celebrating another magical year, an aunt, a dear friend, oh--and myself, of course, on the eighteenth. Every year for me has offered another touchstone, brought me another step closer to realizing my goals. Since my last birthday, I have resurrected my manuscript and now am close to finishing it--have found a local writing group that feeds my creativity--have had multiple publications (and have more exciting news yet to share). I feel as though I am only just beginning to tap into my creative power and voice--and only this year feel able to say that out loud without trying to censor it or diminish the volume of my voice. (Many of you out there know what I mean by this...I haven't a doubt).

July will be about reveling in all of this and about visiting with some trees...seeking out art wherever I can find it...pausing long enough to have my breath stolen away by a flawless butterfly feeding on my Echinacea. Oh yes, and how could I forget, writing-writing-writing. I hope you seek summer pleasures all your own, crossing over the brightest season, sandals in hand...feet bare-pressed against the Earth.


Anonymous gautami tripathy said...

I liked your photos and ruminations.

11:24 AM  
Blogger January said...

Enjoy this magical time with your family and friends. Happy Birthday, in advance. And do keep us posted on all the good things coming up with your writing.

I'll miss your pictures and your beautiful words.

11:24 AM  
Blogger daisies said...

: ) i will be doing this in august as we travel to the ocean salt air of a hammock swaying between trees smile. enjoy reveling in your beautiful expression, dancing smiles with your family as the laughter of friends and the earth embrace you ...

lots of love

11:59 AM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Delia, such a wonderful tale of your family's reaction to the electricity being out. The photos are wonderful and I like your idea of taking a little hiatus, although I'll miss you. I'm pleased this has been such a productive year for you; am hoping the next - beginning with your upcoming happy birthday - will continue along this exciting path of creativity and joy. Love, Tara xo

12:09 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

i will revel in the thoughts of you basking in the summer son, sharing celebrations with your loved ones and writing to your heart's content... i will miss you too :)

like delia daisies, i'll be off for august so if i'm not around when you get back, it's not because i've forgotten you, no, no... i'll be back.

love to you,

12:52 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

What lovely evening Delia. Enjoy your summer, you will be missed. Good luck too! XXOO

1:42 PM  
Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

This was such a lovely post for today- it made me slow down and take a nice breath. I love any occasion to light a candle!
Have a wonderful time and happy birthday to everyone!

1:58 PM  
Blogger Michelle (a.k.a. la vie en rose) said...

what a wonderful memory you and your family created...a gift offered by the summer storms as an apology for taking your electricty...

enjoy your july...i am anxiously awaiting your exciting news...i can hardly wait...i know it's going to be fantastic...

ps--wonderful pic...

2:36 PM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

Beautiful photos! What a wonderful experience in the storm too, those moments are so special.

5:12 PM  
Blogger deirdre said...

Everytime I read about summer storms, the lightening and thunder and wild rain, I'm sorry we don't have that here. Even in winter we don't get thunderstorms very often. What amazing parents you are to turn what could be scary for a child into an opportunity for magic.

Have a wonderful July and a very happy birthday. See you when you get back.

11:44 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

What a wonderful post. It's winter here in New Zealand, and we don't get thunder and lightning as wild as that here, at any time (I do remember one memorable storm that lit up the sky, but mainly, I think you need greater land masses for really dramatic lightning).

Have a great summer.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Laini Taylor said...

What a wonderful family time! I used to love power outages as a kid. So exciting! There's something so magical about reading by candlelight. Love your son's story about the raindrop. Your photos are beautiful, as are your July plans! I wish I had been a more efficient writer the past few months so I could go "off screen" too. I just read about a wonderful old-growth forest/camping cabins place a few hours from here that I'm dying to go to, but alas, can't do ANYTHING fun like that! Not for a while. Sigh. I never seem to have time for summer.

1:35 PM  
Blogger ...deb said...

I could smell the nitrogen and feel the hum.

My mother used to wake me when lightening storms came rushing in at dark so we could watch them together. She's hinted to my husband that I should write her a letter (she had a bad-health year in 2006 adn is fragile.) I'll write of that.

You've inspired me in many ways--this is one.

Happy early birthday. Happy summer.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Shelby said...

beautiful post and really enjoyed reading thru your blog this morning.. take care and happy
day :)

12:26 PM  
Blogger Melba said...

I love when our lights go out! it has happened several times with Maggie always dancing to the little radio.

What magical images you always creat with your words.

I really love your writing.

1:56 PM  
Blogger angela said...

yes! sweet July :)

10:16 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

What a wonderful picture of your family you gave us. I can imagine this night will be great memories for them. :)

All these photos were lovely, but none as cute as those little hands!! Oh.My. *sigh*

Your b-day is the 18th! No wonder I have such a heart for you. My little G was born at 11:57 pm on the 17th. :) You warm and loving Cancer women.(and moody, and creative) ;)


10:23 PM  
Anonymous gerry rosser said...

I guess Yosa Buson didn't have to contend with all the pollutants in our streams nowadays. He might have taken off the sandals and put on waders.

7:33 AM  
Blogger jenica said...

happy beautiful play time then. you are so elegant.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Kim G. said...

Enjoy the respite from the computer. I'm so excited that you are working on your manuscript again. :) I'm considering a techno-break as well but will miss all of my bloggging friends. Happy early birthday! (Mine is on the 30th. Summer birthdays are especially sweet!)

12:02 PM  
Blogger cloudscome said...

Lovely post! And what a perfect poem to start it off with. Happy Birthday to all! I look forward to more of your wonderful writing.

8:27 PM  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

Delia, Hope your July is wonderful, and that your birthday celebrations are joyous. I want to tell you what a pleasant surprise I had today, browsing my just-arrived copy of the quarterly journal, "Poetry Ireland Review" to find a quote from you on Poetry Thursday included in a regular column of quotes on the subject of Poetry. It was so lovely to see a name of someone from "my" community, and to see Poetry Thursday acknowledged! I wanted to email you, but don't find an email link.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Deb R said...

I'm reveling in your photos. So beautiful!

1:03 AM  
Blogger Lacithecat said...

I love how you collected your children and made a creative and lovely night of the darkness. What parents think of family time in such a moment and there is something so special about it all.

Amazing pics .... and as always somewhere I love to come, sit down and just read.


7:49 AM  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

Oh your photos are so beautiful.

I am enjoying summer too-sneaking out of the house in the early morning to take pictures.

Hugs and love

9:23 PM  
Blogger wish studio said...

enjoy the sunshine (and the storms)! how ironic that your computer time is often our sunshine :) oh the sacrifices of an artist!

9:53 AM  
Anonymous MsRebecca said...

Loved this post.. Made me sit back and breathe in deep for a moment and just think.. The seashells reminded me.. emptying my capris from vacation, I found a pocketful of thoughful seashells given to me lovingly by my son at the beach.. with each one.. "Here mom, another pretty one just for you" Cherish these moments..

10:08 AM  
Anonymous gel(emerald eyes) said...

Lovely and free writing as always like those beautiful butterfly wings or your child's hands you captured creatively.

Happy BD to you and yours! That's exciting news about more publications. I smiled reading that a commenter noticed you being quoted about Poetry Thurs! I'm sure your July rejuvineation will yield more jewels.

4:41 AM  
Blogger Ali la Loca said...

What a treat...and here's to finding that voice you talk about at the end of the post!

12:06 PM  
Blogger Becoming Amethyst said...



6:30 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

(((just a hello hug)))


3:28 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

I tried to email you, just to send along a hug. But it bounced back. humph!

I hope are happy and well, and enjoying yourself. I miss you, though.


11:58 AM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

Thanks to all of you for your comments--they've kept me connected even during my time away from the computer screen!

1:07 PM  
Blogger Trenting said...

Love the photos and what a wonderful inspiring post.

10:49 AM  

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