|After Before, Later
||[Aug. 9th, 2015|09:28 pm]
Summer wears on (and on) and on a good day it brings faint reminders of being free for three months to wake having had enough sleep and having no bus to rush to and no papers rattling about in the back of my mind. There was time to examine the marvelously smooth mud lid of the trap door spider's nest with its ingenious hinge, to follow lines of ants to see where they went, to sit on a branch of a tree and watch the leaves rustle in sultry breezes, and through it all the heat seldom bothered me. |
I have as much free time now but I'd rather not be outside in that midday heat. If I now want to enjoy the enervation the torrid summer sun visits upon me I can do so only in memories of what it was like to revel in its rays during that season of liberation. Those were the thoughts that crossed my mind late this afternoon as I sat on the shady porch, looking away from the glare to concentrate on the soft green undersides of the walnut tree's leaves, the deep shade they produced. In that shade is where I found those thoughts lingering, as though they'd been waiting for me all these years.
The sun set and turned the whole world to shade, and the breeze cooled under emerging stars, but the thoughts still linger as the crickets sing. Somewhere in my mind old moments are ensconced, like the trap door spider in its nest, waiting to leap out and take me by surprise. There are moments when I'd be glad to be devoured by time long past, but so far the past has never finished the job. Maybe it's just waiting for me to expand it. Tonight I'm wondering for how long. If it's as long as this cool breeze carries the cricket songs to my ears, I won't mind at all. After that, who knows?
This Be the Worst
by Adrian Mitchell
(after hearing that some sweet innocent
thought that Philip Larkin must have written:
'They tuck you up, your mum and dad')
They tuck you up, your mum and dad,
They read you Peter Rabbit, too.
They give you all the treats they had
And add some extra, just for you.
They were tucked up when they were small,
(Pink perfume, blue tobacco-smoke),
By those whose kiss healed any fall,
Whose laughter doubled any joke.
Man hands on happiness to man,
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
So love your parents all you can
And have some cheerful kids yourself.
What a lovely post! I like the poem too, which soothes where Larkin abrades. (I like Larkin, don't get me wrong.)
You remind me here of one specific summer memory from my childhood south of Terre Haute. My parents owned an undeveloped lot next to our house, so there was a chunk of space between us and the next neighbor to the south. One summer, they let those neighbors, "good country people" (to borrow from Flannery O'Connor), plant the lot in crops. I have a very clear memory of waking up one early morning to the sound of the corn plants rustling in the slight breeze. The light filtered through all the green stalks and shucks was beautiful coming in the window. If I remember right, and this was probably almost 60 years ago, I lay there for a while just enjoying the light and the sound. Mom told me later we could hear the corn growing that year, sort of creaking as the ears expanded.
Life looks different to a child, doesn't it? Now that I'm old and cranky, I tend to say with Groucho, "Whatever it is, I'm against it."
Edited at 2015-08-10 03:59 pm (UTC)
Around the corner from my block in my old neighborhood lived an elderly Mexican couple who planted their front yard with corn every year. I never heard it growing, but I always enjoyed seeing it a bit taller each day as I passed by on my way to doing whatever I was up to on that day. It was one of the pleasures of growing up in an untidy neighborhood that was decidedly not part of middle class suburbia, with its endless restrictions and covenants.
Another guy in the neighborhood built a large boat in his front yard (and we were about twenty five miles from the ocean) over a period of about seven or eight years. I've often felt sorry for kids who had to grow up in orderly tract houses on neat streets where there was nothing out of place, and not a vacant lot for blocks around.
Edited at 2015-08-11 06:38 pm (UTC)
I hear you! My neighborhood was full of genuine characters, and (as you say) there was no neighborhood association to tell them to tone it down. Our gain!