Sweet Summer

July is the apex of Vermont summer. In these long days, the maple trees stretch over the road as I drive to work — our world bursts with lush growth. In the garden, I pick the first sun gold tomatoes, then drift to sweet red currents.

I pack as much as I can into these days, beginning with the rosy-fingered dawn — take on a little more work, send one more email, swim before making dinner. But a coolness begins to lace through the evenings and earliest mornings; winter is never far in the offing in Vermont.

After dinner, while my youngest mows the lawn, I read under the apple tree, then fold up my glasses and close my book. Across our dead-end street, our neighbors are playing a make-believe game before their three little boys’ bedtime, running on the grass as the sunlight comes through the maple leaves. From where I sit, I can’t see the little boys, but I hear them laughing and laughing.

The robins dart into my garden.

None of this changes the world around us — the constant subtext beneath anyone’s How’s it going? — but July and its endless cucumbers and the sweetness of fresh-cut grass and a world of little children are our world, too.

A young groundhog appears from under the neighbors’ woodpile and stands on its hind legs, appraising me, sunk in its groundhog schemes.

believer in silence and elegance
believer in ferns
believer in patience
believer in the rain

W.S. Merwin

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Photo by Gabriela S.