~summer shorts~ summer flutters by

My eyelids flutter closed. I slip back into august again, and i am walking beside my husband through the low cut hay field lined with goldenrod hedgerows. our bearing is eastward to the orchard that is farthest away from the farmhouse i grew up in. we know we will visit it by wagon ride the next day, but by walking there we arrive with more stealth on the scene of a kaleidoscope of wings wheeling among a rainbow of tall flowers.

Here in the sodden soil, goldenrod is joined by joe-pye weed, its flowers like so much rose colored ball fringe festooned atop stems as tall as i am. Queen anne’s lace and boneset knit an ecru border around the drier edges while sedges and rushes wade into the wetter patches of earth. A katydid catapults itself on a short but powerful flight, its four wings extended, pellucid green against the summer sky, before collapsing back into its origami leaf disguise and landing on a sedge. Vervain sends up tall purple spears of flowers and jewelweed’s orange cornucopias bob in the zephyr breeze. Asters have only just begun to bloom, but soon will partner with the goldenrod to robe the whole landscape in the colors of royalty.

Monarchs paint the brightest brush strokes across the air currents for right now. Pairs chasing one another, loners darting across distances that seem far too large for such small creatures to traverse, yet our eyes only take in a small fraction of the distance they will cover. Still more of them appear, even as the ones i last laid eyes on hurtle towards the horizon. our eyes follow the flight paths of so many individuals we lose count.

Thorns of a black raspberry rake across the skin of my whole knee leaving an angry scrape. Abruptly I return to reality, where summer is ending, where the beautiful winged beings are leaving for many months. The pain in my knee reminds me of the ache in my heart. Summer is going, going, gone.

My eyes flutter open again and it is September 22 upon this spinning earth that is poised to tip itself into autumn, to let rain and leaves succumb to the gravity of fall and start coming down. My knee is healed, but my heart is still tender. I make a vow to myself as summer floats south on the wings of the magical creatures we witnessed, to reserve a part of my heart as a sanctuary for the butterflies of summer.

5 comments to ~summer shorts~ summer flutters by

  • Holly

    MB. This post made my heart sing, so vivid, so real, so tender. And those orange fluttering butterflies in contrast with the blue summer sky…magical, beautiful. What a gift. Thank you.

  • camp boss

    What a wonderful post in photos and verse!!! Bravo….late to the comment party this time..

  • Amy Reichardt

    Love!

    I have really felt the ache in my heart about how summer is (was…) going, going, gone. It was especially keen this year as the approaching start of school (and the attendant commitment of driving Ocie to her school almost an hour away) signaled the loss of simplicity and ease that I had really cherished this summer. I had really enjoyed that ease and had felt that things were so good. And in those last two weeks of August it almost felt like everything good in my life was because it had been summer, because of that time off, and that my chance to get anything done was over. (feeling doomed) There was such an ache during the countdown to Labor Day….

  • mamaC

    Love!

    I have really felt the ache in my heart about how summer is (was…) going, going, gone. It was especially keen this year as the approaching start of school (and the attendant commitment of driving Ocie to her school almost an hour away) signaled the loss of simplicity and ease that I had really cherished this summer. I had really enjoyed that ease and had felt that things were so good. And in those last two weeks of August it almost felt like everything good in my life was because it had been summer, because of that time off, and that my chance to get anything done was over. (feeling doomed) There was such an ache during the countdown to Labor Day….

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