When I was walking home, I felt the microcosm of summer, a bauble gleaming like a bronzed sunset, land on my shoulder. This gleaming toy began to whisper to me, telling me its secrets, its axis of seasons, its golden solstice.
I listened to its confidences. It took pride in its air, where molecules were jostled and pushed into a thick equation of stillness and warmth. It explained that throughout its turgid currents there ran a glistening drift of coolness, a cold metallic blessing woven into its heated tapestry. It was a promise that autumn would always lurk in its sky like mercury reflecting behind a mirror…and that perhaps I should be patient.
The summer flowers have lost their innocence, their fresh chlorophyll drying to a standstill within green, clogged veins. Their scent is a final gasp, rather than a graceful birth…their colors are garish, beyond their prime and on the brink of death. Yet the affable season continued the discussion, making sure I was aware that the flowers’ slow liqueur only reached their pinnacle during the summer months.
I was aware of this.
During this heated time birds either migrate to cooler climates or rest in the trees in a stunned silence. There was a time when the leaves would jump with mystery as their unknown occupants clutched at branches and fluttered with vexation. Quorums of sparrows disputed, mockingbirds hissed and battled…but not during summer. The shorebirds I loved – whimbrels and godwits carving the sand with sabre-like beaks,
sanderlings darting across the beach in packs of tiny earth-bound clouds…gone for the summer. The heated breath in my ear explained that perhaps other regions should enjoy these birds’ song and flight illustrating the blank air. Perhaps they should get the chance to read the tiny footprints in the sand; the dainty, flickering hieroglyphs. Perhaps.
A summer sky during the day is bland and soft: an expressionless face, without texture or wrinkle. It is a vacuous hothouse, heated by a single star that tears a white corner out of the sky. The summer night, however, burns with stars.
Constellations – Scorpio, Hercules – and triangles made from Vega, Deneb and Altair – bloom out of the horizon like jeweled gardens. There now, I heard the triumphant reasoning in my ear – isn’t that pretty? But I prefer the harvest moon, the wolf moon,
its scythe and jaws fierce and penetrating through the cold twilight and swirling Delft-colored clouds.
By now, summer’s heated argument was weighing heavily on my shoulder. Its points of debate were gallant, but I was having none of it. I twitched my shoulder, and the golden bauble stumbled onto the sidewalk, shattering into a thousand prisms – its final bewitching challenges. But I stepped over this wasteland of regret and continued walking and waiting.