"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer's First Day

The sun shines through my window, directly into my face, like a benediction. Summer is here, finally, after endless weeks of cooler, grayer, wetter-than-normal weather that felt like it would never end. For the first time this year, two consecutive days of waking up to clear skies and air that promises warmth, brings a sense of hope and freedom.

The forecast for yesterday was wrong, as it often is in this part of the world. It was supposed to be more of the same. The sunshine and heat were even more of a gift than if they'd been anticipated. Because of the kind of years it's been, being fully in the day seemed more important than ever. I was keenly aware of the possibility that there was no guarantee of another day just like it.

I gorged myself on the day.

Flowers planted. Weeds pulled. Seeds scattered.

I wandered the yard, amazed at the evidence of a summer come in spite of the unusual weather. Blueberry bushes loaded with an abundance of hard green fruit, right on schedule. Phlox just beginning to explode into bright pink blossoms. A bright orange lily I'd forgotten existed, in full fragrant bloom. The air thick with rose sweetness and bee song and bird celebrations.

Resting in the shade of the patio, the afternoon breeze right on schedule, washing over and around like baptism. Toby in his glory and joy chasing the shadows of Violet-green Swallows swooping for insects to carry to babies. The Sweet Gum offering glimpses of squirrel and Goldfinch and Black-headed Grosbeak through the lushness of its hand-shaped leaves.

Needing to move, to be out in the aliveness, I meandered down the row of hanging baskets that line our yard, deadheading geraniums. When I got to the last plant, I stood on tiptoe to check on the status of the four thumbnail-sized eggs in the junco nest we discovered a while back tucked in the middle of the foliage. By then Walt had joined me. He saw them first, and his exclamation of wonder made me remember why I love him.

Babies. Beaks – open and begging for food. Heads no bigger than an infant's pinky, eyes still sealed, feathers not yet dry. One egg left to hatch.

We marveled at the wonder of these new lives as though they were miracles. And thus the biggest gift of a perfect summer day. The acute awareness that they are miracles, as all life is. No matter the size or the shape or the abundance. Life is a miracle. One we often forget to see in the gray day-to-day. One hard to miss in the midst of a long-awaited, much longed-for, first day of true summer.

The sun has climbed above my window, now dappling the lush greens of my world with silver and gold. I'm on my way out into the light of this new day, grateful for the freedom of time and openness of heart with which to experience the adventure of simple miracles.


Amber said...

Your place sounds so so lovely. I would like to see it someday.

:) ox

Piecefulafternoon said...

Fabulous post. We enjoyed the extra day of sunshine up here too - it indeed has been a grey and wet spring - but the green in the sunlight makes it all worth while - what an amazing green.

Wanda said...


Jerri said...

New life IS a miracle. So is the openness of your heart and your life.

Like Amber, I'd love to see your place some day.

kario said...

May you experience many more days like this, my friend.

Jessica Nelson said...

I love how you compared the breeze to baptism! Awesome. Enjoy your day. :-)

Wanda said...

I love Juncos, but we only have them in the winter season, usually they show with our first snowfall...they are known here as Snowbirds!


Carrie Wilson Link said...

I love how you love Walt.

Terri Tiffany said...

Beautiful! I loved your line about gorging on the day:) I felt as though I were there with you marvelling at your surroundings.
I see you live in WA. So does my daughter--up near Bothell and she said yesterday was finally going to be in the high 70s. Hard for me to take in since it has been summer here so long.
Enjoy your day:)

patti said...

Deb, you are one fine writer.
"gorged myself on the day."

How many sun-kissed summer hours have I felt this way but didn't know how to say it?

Reminded me of Carolyn Arends "Seize the Day" when I read it.

Can I "borrow" this for a scene in my book???


Deb said...

Sounds lovely. I'm jealous though, you have a canoe. I've decided I want to learn how to canoe.

Janna Qualman said...

This is such a peaceful place. Like a benediction. I loved that part.

fullsoulahead.com said...

The baby birds took me back to a nest in my childhood back yard. Every year. Something to look forward to. To marvel at. Thank you!

Julie Garst said...

So happy your now have summer! In Kansas, we've had it for quite awhile. I've been sharing your posts with my folks via e-mail and they have enjoyed the adventures they have taken with you. Thank you for sharing your world with us.

Rick said...

To a guy from Detroit, it sounds a lot like paradise!


What a beautiful homage to summer. I loved the scene you painted with words of your yard. I felt peaceful and content as if I were there.

Thanks for the lovely words you shared.

Time to stop and smell the roses.

AND thanks for liking my short story Mabel and the garage sale. She's a character close to my heart.
Blessings, B

Pam said...

Open-hearted people and places. How wonderful.Such a sense of gratitude in this piece Deb.

Kathryn Grace said...

Wordless. Breathless. Thank you.