My summer has been built by plans - something there, something here, something tomorrow, and something today. I am hoping to see a quieter August where more hours are spent at a turtle speed. For now, I am feeling a bittersweet nostalgia for yesterday so here are some photographs alongside words from the summers of the past. My favorite season.
Squirrels and Dandelions
I wander to a field with my banjo, I feel lonely as only one can feel when they are alone in a field and everybody else is a stranger. The trees cast shadows and I look to them for company as I sit down in the tall grass. This is who I am — a girl who needs solitude as much as she needs spoons for stirring and lungs for calling a loved one home. Surely, it is in these moments of wondering whether I am lonely or simply alone that I realize how much I need to be wandering freely on my own, how I thirst for such an occasion. If I am to have ears for listening to my friends and happiness within each tooth as I grin, I need to keep and hold onto quiet moments where it's only me.
Birds and Dandelions
We went to Griffith Woods to take these photographs. I had hoped the bird covered shirt would invite birds to sit high on the treetops and look down over us. I was feeling blue for days leading to these moments, not for any reason I could name, mostly just because I am Amy, I was born in December, and I always carry a little bit of that winter shade of grey inside of my heart. It is the shade I've come to know which compels me to write, to sing with the belly, and to listen for songs by birds and other worldly things. I came to Griffith Woods, not only to take these photographs, but to remind myself that there is a bright kindling of afternoon skylight within me too.
A few proud flowersSeveral times a day, I look to where the sun is pointing and I put my body there. I could sit underneath the sky for hours, even when it's warm like a kettle after it coos. All I need is a few proud flowers, a cold cup of water and a spot in the shade for when my cheeks turn rosy from the sun. I don't want to miss anything, not the ladybug, not the bare sleeve, nor the green foliage that lights the forest like moon shimmer on a boat at sea.
What makes the gardener garden
I wander to the watering hose and fill my bucket till it weighs like a full grown dog leaped upon my lap. I use all of the strength I've ever known to lift it. I water the flowers. My arms twitch. I find a sense of motherhood by carrying a heavy bucket to give life to delicate living things. Other times, I feel like a hurricane, swishing and sloshing as wobbly me carries the bucket from the hose and into the garden, losing most of the water along the way. There are little things in the daylight of June that make even the most melancholy of my moods disappear and seem forgotten until darkness comes around again. I understand myself best in the world of shoveling soil, carrying buckets of water, and being hugged by the electric blanket we call summer. I see everything as it is — short lasting but bright like a life well lived.
Be Here NowMost of my regrets have something to do with summertime. If I don't wander enough through the green grass or eat enough fruit underneath a golden sun, then I am left hollow and full of regrets like a boy whose too afraid to tell his father how he doesn't like fishing. I want to touch every wild oak as if my hands were new to me. I want to taste the raspberries as if I had never tasted sugar. I want to walk into the garden and see the flowers climbing towards the blue sky, not dying and becoming crumbs of what summer was supposed to be.
What will be will be, I say to myself. If a hailstorm were to arrive, like a grave in the ground, here only to bury my garden, I would have to let it go. I spend so much of my waking life being bothered and worried about tomorrow. I stand at the edge of seawater thinking only of how I will miss the sea when it's gone. Sometimes, this way of thinking is beautiful and nourishing to the spirit. Other times, I feel like I am living on the last sentence of my own chapter book.
About a dream
I realize now, as I look longingly onto the garden, a place where tomato plants burst and bloom like tiny emblems of a passing summer. Maybe, the dream only hollers of my wish to be swimming, to always be summer bound, and to be free as the apron which flour spills onto. Maybe, the dream is less of a dream and more of a tiny siren song warning me to live a little louder before the riverbed dries.
How to be an explorer
If there ever is a time where boredom feels like my only season, I can always count on a day of exploring to lift my spirits. Stepping outside of myself, wandering to where sunbeams sit on the trees, peeking through binoculars, embracing my five senses, taking mental field notes and coming home to share all of my discoveries, this is how I cure the boredom blues and find happiness again.