This new poem came to me by way of the website Poets.org, and their daily e-mail “Poem-a-Day.” But for it I might have forgotten that tomorrow is the summer solstice – obviously I haven’t been following my plan of keeping up with the moon and stars, etc.
I love the poet’s evocation of a warm summer’s day, and the sort of experience she describes, of spending the whole day outdoors, lolling by a pond and not even going home until night — even though it hasn’t often been my own.
When I was young we lived where we could not start this relaxed lingering until the evening turned the heat from scorching to comfortable. Now where I live with coastal and river influence, it’s rare to have a day in summer without chilly fog on one or both ends.
But today the sun shined as soon as it was up. No fog! And when I went outdoors in the morning I didn’t need a sweater. I was caressed by the earth’s atmosphere.
Soldier came over for a few hours to help me clean up and move things around the yard, to prepare for the huge demolition project that is happening soon. Yes, the concrete pool will be broken up and the hole filled with good ol’ dirt. The large utility yard will also have its crumbling cement layer scraped off so that I can make it more useful and beautiful.
So…we had to move all the things one keeps in such a yard, or near the pool, to other places; Soldier sawed old stakes into kindling, and we piled it elsewhere. We moved potted plants, bricks, cinderblocks, and steppingstones; a bench swing, landscape rocks I’ve brought down from the Sierras over the decades, clay pots, tarps, buckets…and dumped out a barrel of water that had been saved since Y2K.
Next week a boy I know will help me move all my firewood, and then I’ll be ready to set a date for the heavy work to begin. I’m starting to use the pool water on my plants; the patio is getting crowded, and not with humans.
It was a very satisfying way to spend a few hours on this almost-solstice day. Maybe tomorrow I’ll loll about a little as well, and soak up the sweetness of light.
How again today our patron star
whose ancient vista is the long view
turns its wide brightness now and here:
Below, we loll outdoors, sing & make fire.
We build no henge
but after our swim, linger
by the pond. Dapples flicker
pine trunks by the water.
Buzz & hum & wing & song combine.
Light builds a monument to its passing.
Frogs content themselves in bullish chirps,
on thimbleberries fall, peeper toads
Apex. The throaty world sings ripen.
Our grove slips past the sun’s long kiss.
We head home in other starlight.
Our earthly time is sweetening from this.