It’s been a mostly kind summer so far. I know it won’t last, though. This week’s humidity is just a foretaste. I’ve known this so I’ve made the most of the cool mornings and nights. Plenty of hammock hangs and standing in the breeze, letting it whip my hair. Been somewhat intentional to be still and feel the winds lately. To take deep breaths in as it exhales out over me.
It’s easy to forget to breath. Shallow gasping is the rhythm of the hurried and harried, and yet many of us are functioning at rather low levels with our high idling. Living and breathing at about 50% of the 100% available to us. Just my guess as someone who finds herself hyperventilating in no time. We are autonomic yet not even close to full capacity. Just enough to stay alive unless you can remember you’re made for more than that.
Do I sound melancholy? I don’t mean to be. It’s simply the nature of those who stare at dark, starry nights and consider. Those who have to stop all else that they can remember to really breath. To really be. What does everyone else do to move beyond the subconscious functions? What do the most alive humans do? The ones who are wide awake when the rest are dreaming? Honestly, I can work my brain right into a friction that borders on combustion. You ever been so awake that you find yourself back at square one? Knowing nothing in your quest to know something? My biggest thoughts always lead me back to finite findings: existence is real big and I am real small. Anyhow, back to square one, which for me will always be the dirt.
My sunflower stalks are the tallest they’ve even been and they’re just now blooming at the tippy-top like they want all to see, far and wide. I couldn’t reach them if I wanted to. Beneath them I have dwarf teddy bear sunflowers, fuzzy and full. I can’t help but think of them as ankle-biters next to the mammoths. I feel as if I have a seasonal affair with the sunnies. They always return to me each summer, most coming up as volunteers from fallen heads of seeds. At this rate, I don’t think I’ll ever not have sunflowers growing in my garden, even if I don’t sow them. They’re in the soil and I pull dozen of seedling each year.
I’ve had my baskets full with blackberries the last week. I was thinking back to when I planted my first cane. It was just a tiny pot I had found on clearance, end of season. Now I have bushes that take up at least a quarter of my garden plot. The bushes are heavy loaded this year and I can barely keep up. I usually pick early morning and by sunset the deep red berries I pass by have already turned black. It goes that fast in the July sun. It’s a bit of a jungle expedition to pick them. Canes well over my head. I find that the most plump berries are the low-hanging ones, well-hidden. I have to pull back branches and bend real low to not miss them. I become hidden as I search for them. No hiding from the ants, though. I brush off armies of ants the deeper I step into the bush.
Each year I end up with a few mystery plants, usually of the squash variation. They come up in the freshly tilled soil or the compost bin and I plant a couple just for the surprise factor. Currently there’s a ginormous something taking over an entire corner. I’m guessing it’s pumpkin by the size of the leaves. A big variety. That’s the crazy thing about tossing your discarded peels and pits into the compost bin — it’s a pet cemetery of sorts. It always comes back.
Tonight I’m swaying in a porch swing listening to the first real rain here in a long while. The lightning was a show in itself, hushing the fireworks that were going off prior to it. Cool north breeze sprinkling me on occasion. What a reprieve for the grass that’s been going brown and all the things I am not able to water deeply enough in summer. You’ve got to drink real deep in this heat if you want to stay green.
So, yeah, I always end up back to the simple things that suit me best — dirt, wind, rain and seeds. These are the things I can understand. Everything else eludes me.