Good morning, July

good morning, July - 1


“The serene philosophy of the pink rose is steadying.  Its fragrant, delicate petals open fully and are ready
to fall, without regret or disillusion, after only a day in the sun.  It is so every summer.  One can almost
hear their pink, fragrant murmur as they settle down upon the grass: ‘Summer, summer, it will always
be summer.'”
–   Rachel Peden

On the final day of June, our rain totals caught up to the average, so we head into July in good position.  As I write this, our three California grandchildren are helping their parents load up the van, for their trek to the lakehouse.  Don has joined a friend in the wee hours of this morning for his annual bicycle ride around the lake, before the hoards of tourists clog the roads.  I’ll do the final dusting and fluffing of the upstairs bedrooms today.  Now it is July, and the start of our six week, maybe eight, season of summer.

I wrote a poem some years ago about preemptively mourning summer, before it’s even begun.  I entitled it,  Did I Miss It?  It was a cautionary tale to myself to be present, in This day–just This day, and not tomorrow.  Last week, on a run together at my sister’s house in Colorado, she talked about her love for The Lord’s Prayer, and how she’s come to understand “Give us THIS day, our daily bread”, as a call to live in the moment.  Here in the Flathead Valley, our short summer provides an excellent opportunity to just Be Here Now.

Every summer, I read this Billy Collins poem, ‘passing the time to wonder which, cries of joy or warning…’

The Chairs That No One Sits In

You see them on porches and on lawns
down by the lakeside,
usually arranged in pairs implying a couple
who might sit there and look out
at the water or the big shade trees.
The trouble is you never see anyone
sitting in these forlorn chairs
though at one time it must have seemed   
a good place to stop and do nothing for a while.
Sometimes there is a little table
between the chairs where no one   
is resting a glass or placing a book facedown.
It might be none of my business,
but it might be a good idea one day
for everyone who placed those vacant chairs
on a veranda or a dock to sit down in them
for the sake of remembering
whatever it was they thought deserved
to be viewed from two chairs   
side by side with a table in between.
The clouds are high and massive that day.
The woman looks up from her book.
The man takes a sip of his drink.
Then there is nothing but the sound of their looking,
the lapping of lake water, and a call of one bird
then another, cries of joy or warning—
it passes the time to wonder which.

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