Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Summer's Over?

I am getting very behind on the blogging, again. I never finished posting stuff from our trip. Since then, there's also been over a week of changes and I've done some sketching. But I'm so busy! I wrote this during a journaling time we had on our first day back at work (a staff in-service that was exactly one week ago, Aug 10).

Bluegills dart in and out of the milfoil, their dorsal fins occasionally puncturing the water's surface. Their patch of shimmering aqua green contrasts with the brown of the water and the yellow of the stems. Mouths moving, they seek out insects among the feathery leaves.

A blue damselfly swoops past, diving for mosquitoes and reminding me of all that is good about summer. Observation. A slow and steady pace, a gentle productivity that doesn't steal the day away entirely. The rhythm of harvesting, canning, processing, the feel of tomatoes squishing between my fingers, splashing juice up to my elbows. The business of living, not the busy-ness of working.

Bright yellow, a gold finch squeaks as he pulls fluffy seeds from the head of a thistle. He works his way up and over, hangs precariously upside down for a second, then rights himself. A monarch floats by and lands on a primrose, extending its proboscis. A swallowtail flirts with each blossom briefly before moving on to the next, brighter and better. Bees buzz from hawkweed to goldenrod and back again. Their legs look heavy with gold.

The common denominator? All these animals spend their days consumed in the task of finding, storing and eating food. Perhaps this is why my old-fashioned summer "hobbies" feel so right. It isn't just me getting back in touch with my food, its source and its seasonality... but me becoming my inner animal. You know, except I have glass jars and an electric freezer.

A kingbird, perched and watching. Peach fuzz against my cheek. Cedar waxwings searching for berries. Corn silk, long and pale, almost sticky. The back ends of mallard sticking out of the water. The capsaicin burn of jalapeƱos. Swallows swooping and swerving. However can school be starting already???

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