That Beautiful Season

When I was young I loved summer. I enjoying breathing in the smell of chlorine and sun tan oil at the pool. I loved waking up late to a cool breeze moving through the window in my bedroom. I loved Frontier Days, Fourth of July at Rose Lake, vacations to Orofino, and staying with Grandma Woolum in Spokane. Summer days included sleeping outside, sucking on popsicles, eating fresh green beans from the garden, gulping cold Shasta pop, devouring daytime TV, and enjoying lots and lots of reading.

Somewhere along the way in my adult life I stopped enjoying summer, especially July and August. I think I went through a phase where heat really bothered me physically and I wanted to stay inside. My skin became sensitive to the sun so sunscreen, hat, and long sleeves are necessary most days.It seems to take me weeks to adjust from the exhaustion of the school year into summer. Yes, teachers get some time off in the summer. Often between workshops, teaching classes, trainings, and professional reading that time is more scheduled than I like.

Seventeen years ago I began so immerse myself in gardening.Summer is a friend and a foe to our gardens. Right now as we swelter in hundred degree weather we can enjoy the fruits of Everett's labor in the vegetable garden enjoying green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, and cabbage. The heat does in many parts of the garden where leaves burn up, blooms wilt, and flowers droop. Everett waters as much as he can. We deadhead and trim back plants and wait for cooler nights so the flowers can recuperate. But the lilies are a friend to heat. As plants around them wilt, the lilies push toward the sun and fill the garden with beauty. Thus, beautiful summer.

We also are concerned about fire in July and August. We live in a dry part of the state and all around us neighbors work hard to conserve water. A wildfire started the other day close to us from a spark of the train. As a community we are aware of our dry conditions and are on the lookout for each other. That is comforting, but makes it difficult for both of us to leave at the same time for long. Our acres demand water. Thus summer can be a foe.

Autumn will always be my favorite season, however this year I decided to embrace summer. I have tried to work outside when it is cooler. I decided to appreciate wild, sometimes overgrown gardens and not focus on the weeds. We have waited for the cool of the evening to enjoy time in the porch swing. By filling the feeders we have enjoyed watching birds come to visit. Of course I have taken hundreds of pictures. July has been filled with camping, hosting family ,visiting family down the lake, creating bouquets, and taking the dogs to the lake. Fortunately we still have more hot days to enjoy and especially the long, lingering light of evening.

"Then followed that beautiful season... Summer....
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood."
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I agree Henry.... it is a beautiful season.

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