Thursday, 8 July 2010
One fine day
Another sunny day.
For weeks now, I've opened the heavy bedroom curtains to brilliant sun. This is our fourth summer in England, but the first time we've enjoyed such a long streak of fine, cloudless days. My flimsy cotton dresses have been dragged out of the back of the closet; usually, they only get an airing when we holiday in warm places.
I love the heat of a proper good summer, but the gardener in me acknowledges that the ground could use a good soaking. Nearly every night, I'm outside watering the borders until the light begins to ebb and I can feel the damp chill rising from the earth.
Three summers ago, when we planted the new border and the rose/herb beds, it rained and rained. High summer is not, typically, the best time to put in new plants, but the weather conspired with my impatience. Only the lavender, which hates being water-logged, really suffered.
This year the lavender is thriving . . . it must think it got transplanted to Provence.
For the first time, we aren't plagued by the black spot on the rose leaves. But the trade-off is that the roses bloom and quickly brown and shrivel. They come apart like an explosion of confetti when you touch them. Last Thursday, when I was at Jane Austen's House, every gust of wind blew a shower of rose petals through the front door. I kept looking for the phantom June wedding.
I suppose we are all influenced by seasonal rhythm and ritual more than we realize. I still expect SUMMER to begin on that last weekend of May. It feels strange to fret, in July, with early morning alarm bells, piano exams and school bags. The high point of the summer has passed, and yet here we are -- still limping along, trying to adhere to a routine that has lost its relevance. I'm sure that by the end of August I will long for routine again, but just now I'd like to lay in the grass and listen to the hum of insects.
The raspberry canes are bursting with fruit that no one has time to pick.
We need to spend a day in our pajamas . . . or bathing suits. It seems a shame to run the sprinklers without some tow-headed child running through them.
Only one more day 'till summer vacation.