Days of Sum­mer

Arabella - - CLUB ART - Writ­ten by Paul Bott

Sum­mer is not al­ways about the day, it is of­ten about the tran­si­tion into night, as one sits, re­laxed af­ter the heat of a re­lent­less sun has de­pleted our vigor, which ear­lier had been am­bi­tion. The mem­ory of last sum­mer’s gar­den and the sweet smell of tomato plants and the less­en­ing hum of many bees re­mind me that I am where I love to be, where I al­ways long to be, in fact where I never want to leave. My gar­den is a never end­ing story of toil and thought­ful­ness, some­times a ten­der place where thought­ful mo­ments serve to fer­til­ize a frenzy of ideas, of hopes and of dreams. I am sur­rounded by an abun­dance of rud­beckia and zany zin­nias, hun­dreds of them, some planted with my own hands, some planted at the dis­cre­tion of fam­i­lies of wild birds, hav­ing in­dulged them­selves in what can only be de­scribed as a ban­quet, seeds and sources of life wait­ing for the op­por­tu­nity to be part of the earth, the ul­ti­mate source, the ul­ti­mate seed. Each year, like a kid in a candy store, I reach for a gar­den that still lives in its packages. The cashier care­fully ex­am­ines dozens of seed packages, fi­nally plac­ing a price on my soon-to-be gar­den. I carry my new friends home in haste, se­cure in a plain brown pa­per bag. Now I sit, in and among what will be my sum­mer home, con­tem­plat­ing beds of let­tuces and pots of straw­ber­ries, beets, squash, cu­cum­bers, all familiar friends of months to come of sun and wa­ter and weed­ing. I sit here now, in my fa­vorite place, in the place that al­ways re­stores my soul, alone with my hopes, lis­ten­ing to the sound of chil­dren’s voices in the dis­tance mixed with the sound of geese set­tling in for the night at the nearby lake. The muf­fled roar of a mo­tor­cy­cle as it races away and the bark­ing of neigh­bor­hood dogs add res­o­nance to the pow­er­ful sounds of the set­ting sun, There is the gen­tle flicker of the can­dle that I light each night in re­mem­brance of my dad and here, on my lap, lays a warm, living, breath­ing, puppy that gives me peace. This is the end of my day; I will soon sleep and rest, and re­mem­ber how good my life re­ally is. I thank my maker. Good night.

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