Wrinkles in the grass

"The air was cool and clear, with the autumnal sparkle that a north wind brings to the hills in early summer, and the night had been so still that the dew hung on everything, not as a lingering moisture, but in separate beads that glittered like diamonds on the ferns and grasses." (Summer, Edith Wharton, p. 43)

The hill was mowed and a bee was climbing up the stocks of grass, looking for clover flowers that are no longer there, right underneath our feet. She climbed one strand after another like an acrobat on a tight rope. Sometimes she fell off and disappeared into the grass, then reappeared again. Occasionally a long blade formed a bridge to another, the weight of her body tilting it to its side. I told my husband to hide his feet and he sat crossed legged on the towel.

When I was a child I stepped on a ribwort leaf on a puddle, not noticing the bee floating on it. It stung me and my foot swelled like a balloon and I cried. My parents returned home and found me still standing outside on the dirt road, crying. I remember soaking my foot in a tub of milk and wearing a slip-on shoe only on the good foot for days.

We retraced our steps to the field, to the wrinkles in the grass where we lay hours earlier. There was a single dandelion standing on the far left, outstretched towards the setting sun shining through its translucent globe. 

A fluffy white dog with beige ears climbed up the hill to us and I placed the book face down on my knees. She sniffed our feet and touched her wet nose to my hands, then climbed on the towel and wiggled her behind to sit beside me. The dog leaned against my thigh and felt warm and soft, her belly expanding and shrinking with its rapid breath. The owner followed up and approached us with apologetic comments about the dog, Peppy. She saw the book on my lap and said it's nice we are reading Edith Wharton on a day like this, and petting the dog on the top of her head, asked whether she is a fan too. 

With that weekend the summer has come to an end. There is a patch of light orange leaves on the tree across the parking lot. The tops of the leaves, closest to the sun, are red. I have thought of early fall as my favorite season for the longest time, but I've had a change of heart this summer. I loved this summer and all of its unbearably hot days and shattering thunderstorms. It felt like a season of extreme shifts, teaching me to appreciate all that is gentle. There is a sense of closure in the air now, the smell of wet earth and dust rising from the pavement.  

I'm breaking a wafer ice cream cone into smaller peaces and eating it without any ice cream because there isn't any left. My husband can overhear the crackle and proposes we head out to buy ice cream. I am still in summer mode and crave sweetness and the warmth of the August sun. 

There is so much more I planned to write about, but on that note I'll sign off and prepare to head outside to walk on the glistening sidewalks after this morning's drizzle.


Ode to Summer

Holding a sugar cone with black raspberry chocolate chip ice cream beginning to melt as soon as it comes into contact with the hot air.

The cry of a mourning dove stirring me from sleep.

Rhododendron in hues of pink, lavender, and blue, like a thousand fluffy bouquets around every corner. 

Luscious greens and the melody of tree frogs and crickets chirping away into the night.

The golden evening light climbing the side of the building, a masterpiece of glistening reflections.

The little cat on the windowsill, with his dainty white-sock paws folded under his chest, intently watching us cut stuffed toast at breakfast on the balcony. 

A thin crescent moon in a deep blue sky, fading to a glowing orange on the horizon.

The grace of a swan fanning his wings, alone in the water.

Thick white clouds, like snow covered mountains rising over the city streets, full of wonder and anticipation.

Sinking into a soft patch of grass, like a foam mattress instantly taking our shapes.

Rainy season. 

Mushrooms emerging in the shade and underneath fences, clusters of them like miniature umbrellas arranged by size. The smaller ones standing under the larger ones, and smallest ones squeezed against the stems in between.

The beauty of plantain lilies, I hadn't noticed until now, their white bell flowers transform into a soft lavender at dawn. 

A new straw hat.

The trembling chin of my favorite neighborhood cat, purring and collapsing onto my hand, his furry white belly exposed and vulnerable, rolling over twigs and soil. 

A cargo ship making its way along the shore, everything growing quiet and still in its presence. 

Dragonflies whirring overhead, so many of them, fluttering fluorescent greens, sunlight filtered through their paper-thin wings. 

The last French fry. 

The sweet floral and coconut scents of sun lotion on the beach, salt water and sweltering heat.

A bright and puffy yellow sunflower, its weighty flower head titled down from a towering height. 

The excitement of a bowl of popcorn circling in the microwave, pop, pop, popping like fireworks.

New neighbors, different smoke.The skunky smell of weed making my eyes water. 

Remembering not to place something I don't want to lose in the front zip pocket of my bag that I'm constantly opening and closing. 

Re-reading the same paragraph over and over in bed, the light dimmed, my eyelids heavy with sleep.

The black grease stains on my legs from my bicycle chain after a long trip. 

Binge watching Stranger Things. 

The thunderstorms.

Our silhouettes embracing by a sycamore tree. 

Bonding with a friend over Dawson's Creek.

Overhearing a young musician say, "Do I want to be in a wedding band or the lifestyle being in a wedding band would allow me?" 

Writing to remember and be remembered.

The joy of gliding a fountain pen across the page, midnight blue ink.

Taking forever to leave the house even when we've checked everything off the to-do or to-bring list. 

Having tea with my family.

Focusing on a detail and working outwards. 

The clanking of sail boats swaying side to side in the bay, like wind chimes, early in the morning.


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