Crocus, there you are
All alone but none too soon.
Daffodil, you held off as long as you could
Bringing yellow to my blues.
Lilac, your perfume on the breeze
Makes me put down my book.
Dandelion, all of a sudden
You are everywhere.
Plum blossom, humming
With my neighbors’ bees.
Marsh marigold, you remind me
Of muddy barefoot summers.
Forget Me Not,
First flower my mother introduced to me.
Iris, you bring the garden to the pond.
So proud and for good reason.
Queen Ann’s Lace, from a distance,
You are a hundred spinning galaxies.
Yarrow, your leaf
Crushed between my fingers
Recalls my whole childhood.
Daisy? I love that you stay;
You slow the pace of summer.
Chicory, favorite of me and Monet.
Now elderberry, you bloom so briefly!
I can’t wait for your berries
And neither can the birds.
Milkweed and goldenrod,
Milkweed first: Your fragrance shifts my reverie.
(Your bitterness, a secret that we share.)
Old friend, your gold will linger until
The last bee returns with nothing.
And there is summer’s end.
As summer draws to a close here in Vermont, and winter approaches, every year at this time, I have to deal with a certain undercurrent of sadness, which I’m sure has something to do with the fact that, at 65, I am undeniably heading into the Fall of my life. It is only natural for me to project some pathos onto the great blue screen of this time of year. (The summer of my life is past, but I don’t mind – it was a good one!) In the case of the seasons (minus my projection), summer will most likely come around again on schedule, unless the climate crisis reaches critical mass, exploding our habitual notions of reality altogether and total chaos sweeps in . . . (breathe) . . .
Call me naïve, but I am counting on there being another summer and many more after that; I’m counting on the human race coming to it’s senses in time to safeguard the selfless genius of the seasons. What I was getting to, before I interrupted myself, is that my age or stage of life has made me hyper-aware of how much the months from May to late October are like a powerful wave of life that washes by our home like an animated coral reef of familiar life-forms that is in a state of perpetual transformation. If I am attentive I can witness subtle changes in a single plant in the course of a day or I can sit by the brook in the woods and notice how its flow was was altered by an ephemeral night-time shower.