August? Already? How can that be?
I grew up sort of an anxious child, and I could always count on that Sunday night stomach ache before a new week of school started. When I came across this anonymous quote this morning, I cringed: “August is like the Sunday of summer.” Ugh.
No way am I going to have a stomach ache all month long. Instead I’ve copied some lovely quotes onto index cards and will reflect on one each day, near a fan and a tall glass of iced tea.
To stir my enthusiasm on Monday, from Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, a book from our mother/daughter book club a few years ago:
“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”
For every other weeknight, watering the plants outside at dusk, Yukio Mishima puts an artful image to sound:
“Again and again, the cicada’s untiring cry pierced the sultry summer air like a needle at work on thick cotton cloth.”
When I sit on my porch after dinner letting my mind wander while my Jack Russell, Archie, runs around the yard:
“The summer night is like a perfection of thought.”
Thank you, Wallace Stevens.
And on Saturdays:
“Summer afternoon–summer afternoon; to me those have always been the most beautiful words in the English language.”
Henry James, I do agree.
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
John Lubbock seems to know I have a stream in my backyard. And I’m endlessly thankful for it.
And at any time, night or day, I like to think of my favorite summertime friendship. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee wrote:
“Summer was on the way; Jem and I awaited it with impatience. Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the tree house; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all, summer was Dill.”
The fireflies and I will embrace an angelic August.