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.