Start of Summer

Somehow, as it always does, spring has already begun to meld into summer. Next weekend is the first of June: month of fetes and festivals, rose gardens and picnics, and possibly, a favourite month of the year for so many reasons. This year I have been looking forward to June even more than most. There are strawberries ripening in the pot on the garden table, foxglove spires take me back to being 6 years old when South Devon holiday lanes were pink with their bee-spotted flowers. Weekend promises pack the month with outings, birthday picnics, and fair weather joy.

Thoughts of summers past pull on my concentration often, triggered by sun on skin, scent of dew, colours in the light refracted.

Carousel colours, a giant's beanstalk of a plant.
Landing pads - lily pads. Climbing winding, ladder of leaves,
bright throats of pollen beloved by bees, a caterpillar colosseum.
Nasturtium.

But what of May, can we forget her delights so quickly? The cow parsley on the village verge-sides is already going to seed, but the elderflowers open daily, like someone has hung out all of grandma’s lace doilies on the hedge to dry. The cemetery has been clothed in turn by primrose, bluebell, now oxeye daisy. I scan the trees and gravestone tops each time I pass, grieving the absence of cuckoo, flycatcher and redstart.

At least the long tailed tits are still here, elastic flight crossing the badger trail through the hedge.

At the allotment, green growth buoys the heart, nourishes body and soul. Weeds, wildflowers, and wishes alike set their sights on the sun.

I am learning to pause, to notice, and savour these days. These days when the sun is awake longer than us, and it’s easy to rise late and miss the best of the hours.

These days? These are Heaven-Days.
Growing hearts and leaves and blooms and memories.
You weeding around the budding roses, me tying in the dahlias,
sipping sweet-bitter thermos teas.
At the edges of our site, on the boundaries of our sight,
creep the crumble-pie-vines, the bramble berries.

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