Saturday, August 21, 2010

Daily Delight

I'll start by acknowledging that late winter and early spring can feel VERY long, but it's anticipation and tiny little delights that make even that time difficult.

Starting in May, there is some delight in every month. I've thought for awhile that May was my favorite month in Vermont. You can almost feel Nature stretching languorously and shaking down her hair. Nothing is quite happening, but everything is just percolating and ready for the mad dash of summer weather.

June is sort of the same, except things have begun to happen. By June you can definitely wear shorts most days, and if you don't mind cold water, it's time to swim. I always think of an Elsa Beskow poem that begins, "The sun is warm, the water is mild, Summer has come to the water child."

July means you can swim almost daily, and the kind of craziness of the short growing season is in full swing. There are berries to pick and greens to eat and the weeding to do. The paths through the woods can become impassable by July as the briers fight for every available bit of sunshine.

August is the reason for this post. I have been biased against August, probably because they're having triple degree heat right now in Texas. I always think of August as a month to be endured. However, I am seeing it with new eyes this year. In Vermont, August looks like the peak month; it's the crest of the hill on the seasonal roller coaster. Flowers are in full bloom and garden plants are fruit- laden. It is a lush month with thick greenery. It is also tinged with the coming of fall. A few trees are shimmery with yellow and orange highlights; the nights are cool and we often put on jackets for an hour or two in the morning. Fog is in the back field almost every morning and the crickets are chirping in a very diligent way.

September brings apples and jeans and an earnest longing to be outside every possible second, as the waning light becomes quite obvious.

October is the golden month. Nature is replete and ready for the rest winter brings.

November usually brings the first winter weather, and that is always greatly anticipated at our house.

December brings the thick dark. That dark is magical in its velvety cold. The stars look so crisp and moonlight is so inviting.

January is for a good fire; that's when the weather is usually at it's coldest. It's a fun time to blow bubbles. Have you ever blown bubbles on a 0 degree morning?

February usually brings snow and good skiing. And March does the same. March is also when I begin to really notice how much longer the daylight lasts. It's the time for starting plants.

And back again to April. Thank you Mr. Eliot for stating it so clearly.

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding 
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing 
Memory and desire, stirring 
Dull roots with spring rain. 
Winter kept us warm, covering         5
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding 
A little life with dried tubers.

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