A Late-June Evening

I think, maybe, the sun will make an appearance this evening before I pack it in and head to bed. The sun shone brightly this morning when I took off running down the road. Slate-bottomed clouds exited to the north pushed along by upper winds, and blue sky reigned to the south. Indeed, I thought the day would be summer-perfect — dappled shade, a slight breeze, bees humming, birds singing — but somewhere between the crises of the morning and issues of the early afternoon, the day grayed and rain began to fall.

It is late-June, and the mosquitoes are bad, bad, bad. I whop them with a fly swatter; I clap them mid-air between my hands; I slap them on my arms and legs; I smash them — and knock myself nearly senseless — when their high-pitched whine sounds too near my ear. It is the season we have longed for since deep January when subzero cold opened and closed each day and no sound but the call of chickadees and cries of crows broke the silence of the outdoors. It is the season of our dreams — leafed trees, landscapes of waving grass, goldfinches, robins, warblers, sparrows, kingbirds, and hawks perched atop poles surveying their prospects below — last January we did not consider mosquitoes. But mosquitoes are what we have.

 

 

In the midst of my misery, I resolve to reframe mosquitoes more positively. They are food for birds, food for the dragonflies, food for fish, turtles, frogs and bats — they are June, July, August and early September — they are the antithesis of January’s cold. Their moment is to be cherished along with long days, garden produce, campfires and evening walks. Perhaps I can maintain this positivity for a meaningful length of time; probably not. I just hit myself slapping a mosquito that landed on my face. I almost can’t stand them. Truth be told, I can’t stand them.

But stand them I will for it is late-June and I must not wish too soon for January’s cold. It is late-June, and I must let nothing get away –

        You have to hold your old
        heart lightly as the female river holds
        the clouds and trees, its fish
        and the moon, so lightly but firmly
        enough so that nothing gets away.
            —Jim Harrison

Wood Lilies

Harrison, Jim. “River III.” Songs of Unreason, 71. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon Press, 2011.

 

3 thoughts on “A Late-June Evening

  1. I ha€™ve been meaning to reply regarding your last several posts, but am not a person who can or wants to jot a quick note out€. I have to think (feel) about it and try to surmise what it is about your writing that affects me so. “Turning 60” really made me stop€. It was so affecting. I tried, but could not come up with words that adequately convey the emotive response. People say things like great writing, concise, to the point, beautiful, wonderful, I have similar thoughts, etc. But the heart of your writing comes down to imagery and elegance in expressing very personal thoughts and feelings.

    Over the last several weeks, I came up with this way to explain it. Your descriptions of the world you see around you are like Momaday in House Made Of Dawn, they are visual and bring to life both the imagery and feeling.

    Your personal expressions are rich and lyrical, bold in the sense of sharing what you feel, and in that sense much like a number of Joni Mitchell songs. I am attaching one that I find exemplary of that creative expression and personal honesty.

    Your writing is full of meaning and imagery. It is a treasure for me to read and in some future time will be recognized by others as a unique artwork. It really is that beautiful.

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    Liked by 1 person

    1. High praise — especially since the words of N. Scott Momaday and lyrics of Joni Mitchell have had such a tremendous impact on my life! The Prologue of Momaday’s House Made of Dawn repeats itself to me each morning when I run. Thank you, Richard.

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  2. This post made me chuckle, Allyson. 😂

    Despite our months’ long drought, mosquitoes have arrived here as well. I grieve for the earthworms I injure when I garden, but not so for the mosquitoes that meet their demise with a swat. And, like you, I don’t look forward to the arrival of another winter last the last. I’d rather put up with the rather short-lived annoyance of buzzing and bites, a small price to pay for sunshine and warmth…

    Liked by 1 person

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