Summer’s Sweetness

I’m not a fan of summer. But some days, when the wind is a soft, silky breeze, and meadowlarks and red-wing-blackbirds compete for fence-post space, and the dragonflies are dancing above the grassland, all is right with the world.I ended up walking the last half mile or so to and from St. Angus in the Grass School the other day. My car needed service, and my friend dropped me off at the end of the road to the school. We’d had rain overnight, an inch and a half, and the clouds lingering in the east blocked the sun. It was all of 74 degrees, and I enjoyed the saunter to the school. I didn’t hear many birds, but the storms had probably chased them to shelter, plus it was a little late for the earliest of risers.

We’ve had so much rain that the short grass is looking like tall grass, if you measure some of the sedges and taller forbs. The sunflowers are still going strong, although the wild ones are waist-high, a bit more modest than the domestic flavor. The wind teased me from behind, one of our less-common east winds, and all I could smell was grass. Not the cinnamon of dry grass, or the spicy-sweet terrifying incense of a grass fire, but a clean, growing sort of smell. And a bit of must, probably from the edges of the playa lake not too far up wind. The lake has swelled so it no longer has mudflats, and instead blue waved ripple and cats-paws play with the grass.

I did my thing and left around two, opting to walk again. It’s only a mile and a half or so to the car place, and the low 80s with a breeze are perfect for sauntering. Especially after spending the past few hours in a very, exceedingly, amply, generously air-conditioned building. Did I mention it gets cold without herds of students in the school? And I was dressed for summer, not the Arctic. The heat felt good, and the breeze flowed past at just the right temperature, a little cool and soft with moisture. Sheep clouds drifted overhead, an endless flock grazing the palest of blue skies, harmless and quiet, with faintly grey bottoms. The shadows danced past as I walked, now in shade and now in gentle sun. Using the words “gentle August sun” feels odd, but the warmth flowed down rather than beating the ground into misery. For today, moisture held the mastery, blue and green, as proclaimed by meadowlarks.

Some days you just want to sing, and laugh, and rejoice, and to tell someone “thank you” for the wonders of the world and the beauty therein. This was that day.

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