Colleen and I did a bike ride on Saturday, through the sweetgrass scented prairie out west to Kila. Just as I heard a Meadowlark singing nearby, she commented that we were halfway to Christmas, as it will be here in six months. On a day that was 80+ degrees in town, flowers blooming all over the land, and thunderstorms in the forecast, we talked in dismay that Christmas will be here before we know it. ‘ Oh the humanity!’
They’ve been re-paving and chip-sealing the cut-across road at the top of the lake for weeks, and all the talk is how long you had to wait on any given day, or how many trips in which you had to suffer the ordeal. In that time, sitting in my car, I’ve watched the bright yellow canola come into bloom, reaching out to the blue lake, as well as the first hay cutting of the season. Each morning, I’d find new round bales had been spaced throughout the green fields, under white fluffy clouds, and if the smell of tar and asphalt wasn’t too much, I’d roll down my window and let the freshly cut hay breeze blow across me as I waited for the pilot car. When I’ve been lucky, they’ve stopped me in view of these poppies. They’ve never been here in years past, and through the weeks of road construction, I’ve been witness to the first hint of something red and pink sprouting at the edge of a field, gradually transformed into poppies, which open their faces so exuberantly to the sun. The road project was finally finished Friday night– I wonder how long until the poppies are finished.
In the meantime, I’m going on vacation! To the seashore. With all my family. I drive by a Super 8 motel when I go into yoga class, and in the summertime, I am often wistful as I watch people put coolers and suitcases into their cars, knowing that they are on vacation. It’s always vacation when you live on Flathead Lake. As a photographer once wrote, “you can live all of summer on one perfect day at the lake.” So, why would one leave in summertime, but, this year, because I turned seventy, and that’s a celebration, I’m going on vacation with all the people I love best in the world. We may be halfway to Christmas, but it sure doesn’t feel like it right now.