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