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summer bounty

July 18th, 2012 | Comments Off

It’s more than just food, sometimes.

July has shown us little mercy. She rises daily at dawn, consistent and sure of herself, simmering her heat and thick air giving little relief in the night hours. I’m stuffed through and through with her blistering melancholy, brought down by hot winds, the white haze of mid-summer and a relentless, calculating sun. I snack on watermelon slices, thick with juice and snapping cold against my teeth, lush ripe cherries that burst in my mouth, forcing a wave of juice down my throat, nearly choking me in glorious abundance. My plate piles with deep green leaves, scattered with tiny radish and beets, shaved strips of deep red carrots, burnished fingers of grilled zucchini. I bite down on corn cobs that spray sweet white milk over my cheeks, lush with mashed avocado, squeaking tart lime and the right touch of salt. I wither. I rise, and repeat. My oven seems lonely. I forget what pants feel like and the washer spins over and over with white linen, flippy cotton skirts, the most minimal of clothing. I’ve lost count on the number of pitchers of iced tea I’ve brewed, the ounces of water consumed daily as a means to keep moving. I pin up my hair, thick with humid curls and dream ever so slightly of cutting it all off. Which I won’t. Come Winter, through bitter winds and snow, I’ll press it to my neck for warmth and remember this July. This heat, choked and hard that descended on us without respite.

But the rains come, thankfully. Blessedly. There is no scent more beautiful than that of the rain falling on a parched earth. With thunder rolling and wind in the trees, it’s a melody of riches for the heat weary soul. I press my face to the screen, taking in deep lungfuls of fresh wet air, reveling in the sound of water rushing past my ears and the earth drinking heavily of this bounty. It revives me; lifts me and lightens the spirit. I feel giddy, like a girl; thinking to run and dance in rejoicing at this gift from above. But instead, I watch, mesmerized at the patterns of droplets on stone, like snowflakes no two the same, each bringing sweet relief.

I love this season called Summer, even with it’s scorched sun and grass, with it’s heat, humidity and drapery drawn against the day, the endless bounty of life-sustaining foods, the inexpensive means to feed us, body and soul, sun on bare skin, the smell of warm grass, the light at 9pm.

Or even later than that.

{{ taken by Bald Eagle Lake, late June around 10:10pm }}

I don’t tire of this heat, as tiring as it can be on me; I know as soon as Summer wends it’s way towards September and tomato plants wilt against the inevitable downfall of their life span and the calendar pages turn that it will be missed. It’s a yearly struggle of self vs. elements, attempting to embrace the present without fail, to move through the days in the swelter of high Summer, no word of complaint falling from my lips for I know in my lifetime of this season, it’s as brief as a spark, or a thunderstorm that breaks up the endless pattern of scalding sunshine. It’s embedded deep in my bones with my DNA, my lifetime of July, followed by years of sultry August, right on the heels of exalted and sweet September.