My kids went to the town pool for the first time last weekend… a sure sign of summer. This weekend, I raided the local nursery like mad, crowding my steps with plants that need to find permanent homes… hydrangeas, gerbera daisies, sweet potato vines, hot pink petunias, colorful coleus and herbs of all types (I have a pineapple mint which makes me want to carry it around with me everywhere just so I can periodically pick off a leaf, rub it between my fingers and take a deep breath).
Last night, I sat with some friends outside sipping pomegranate mojitos (made with the aforementioned pineapple mint). As we read tarot cards, hoping to divine the chances for each other’s deepest wishes, I spotted the season’s first fireflies. We sat beneath the solar-powered mason jar lamps dangling from my pergola, talking for hours, and felt the endless, velvety night beneath a nearly full moon, a light breeze kissing our skin.
This weekend, too, after the spring iris’ inevitable decline, it fell to me to cut back the spent bloom stalks so that all the plants’ strength could go to building strong offshoot rhizomes for next year. I could feel a thunderstorm rumbling in the distance – it had been threatening rain all afternoon – but I was trying to see how much I could get done before the deluge. When it finally unleashed, it came all at once, so that even though I started sprinting for my stoop as soon as I felt the first drop, I still got a good soaking before I made it to cover. I sat on the top step, back to my front door, arms and hair and neck wet with fat drops, smelling the earthy rain, watching it soak all my lush greenery with joy and and a satisfying quench (there’s a verb that deserves to also be a noun if I ever met one). Everything rang with happiness and fullness. In flowers one can feel the expansion of the universe, the earth exhaling.
It is summer here, peeps, in spirit if not on paper. I am once again a creature of dirt under the fingernails, garden sweat, lavender scent wafting behind me as I climb up my steps, blooms and dead-heading and butterflies and the sweet exhaustion that only comes after a day outside. I couldn’t be happier!