Only five more school days left! I think I’m going to be doing some curriculum work over the summer, but that will be relaxing compared to dealing with teenagers. I can’t wait.
June is busting out all over, including our garden. Yesterday evening was beautiful, so we sat outside and had a beer after supper. I took a stroll around the yard and snapped some pictures.
Our irises are just reaching their peak right now. Mixed with deep purple bachelor’s buttons and pearly yellow ground cover (a donation from a neighbour – I haven’t bothered to look it up. Does anyone recognize it?), they create a nice palette of blues and yellows. Our wegiela is in full bloom, and we have a froth of forget-me-nots and columbines around the edge of the property. Jacob’s ladder is another reliable perennial that comes up for us every year.
The crabapple is done, but it was beautiful and the blossoms perfumed the whole yard. We won’t have to wait much longer for the peonies. Then the roses will take over. Right now, only the rugosa is in bloom. They line the beaches in so many places here, and to me they’re the essence of summer. Later will come the dahlias and brown-eyed Susans. In a good year, they bloom right through to the end of October.
I’m a lazy gardener. Our beds run riot, with no coddling for wimps, but we deal with the worst of the bullies and it always manages to look bright and cheerful, if not always perfectly neat and tidy. This summer I want to do plenty of relaxing, so the weeds will likely get ahead of me again. Sigh. No matter. Summer is too short not to savor.
The season is so laden with memories. The smell of a hot smoked-meat sandwich on a sweltering afternoon on Rue Ste. Catherine in Montreal. The dappled shade of spruce trees in the woods where I used to go riding during my high-school years in Miramichi. Moonlight on the Guysborough River where my family camped when I was a tween. The first summer Everett and I spent together, mostly at our family cottage, with the loons calling in the night.
Here’s a set of lyrics I wrote on a summer evening a few years ago. Everett has composed a swingy little jazz melody to go with them. I need another verse, then perhaps we’ll record it.
Swirl me around in an eddy of sunlight Rest me in darkness at the edge of the stream Bear me along in the flow of passing time Like a reed in a river on its way to the sea
When I was a child, someone told me a story ‘Bout a man who made some wings and flew too close to the sun He fell from grace, but he lost himself trying And I’ve found myself crying for the freedom he won
Warm and bright as sunlight on the water Hours go by on an afternoon like this I’m nobody here, just the river’s daughter Lying still, dreaming of…
Swirl me around in an eddy of sunlight Pebbles turn till they’re polished and clean Close my eyes and listen to the water Be a reed in a river on its way to the sea
What are your best summer memories? I’ll leave you with a couple of my favourite tunes for the season. Enjoy!
I'm a teacher, an amateur musician and, for over thirty years, a writer. I fell in love with words at a very early age, and the affair has been life-long.
Glimpses of the past spark my imagination. There's an archaeologist buried in me somewhere. I'm currently working on a series following the McShannon family as they put down roots and find love in the old world and the new, against the background of the American Civil War. Along with this series, I'm writing a story set at the time of the Halifax Explosion in 1917. I'm really enjoying delving into the history in my own backyard.
I write for children as well as adults. When I'm not writing I garden, play guitar and spend time with my DH, our cat Emily, and our dogs Chance and Echo, the most spoiled Duck Tolling Retrievers on the planet. I live in Nova Scotia, in my opinion the most beautiful place in the world.