Clear blue skies at sunrise, fields of sunflowers in bloom and ripening corn so tall that one can stand in it and be completely hidden from view. Damson plums on the sideboard, wax beans and the first tomatoes of the season in the kitchen - it doesn't take much to get one thinking squirrel thoughts at a time of the year when gardens and orchards are starting to strew fresh organic produce before us like flowers.
In wide fields beyond the garden, bees and wasps are intoxicated by the nectars of goldenrod and summer daisies and lurching ecstatically from flower to flower. Stooks and sheaves of grain are everywhere drying in the sunlight, and cribs are overflowing with corn. Yesterday I noticed that a neighbor's pumpkin patch is in full luxuriant flower, and there are little green apples in the old orchard - they are already giving off a fine spice, although they still have a long long way to go.
Every season has its tutelary spirits and deities, and the gift bearing guardians of summer are many. Think Lugh, Dionysus, Bacchus and Silenus, Adonis, Tammuz, Saturn and Pan. Think Demeter, Kore and Nokomis, Dame Kind, the Corn Mother, Ceres, Parvati and Pomona. And the Old Wild Mother??? She is surely here in our garden in summer, but Hers is every season of the turning year.
Returning from the highlands this week, I noticed a single joyous sunflower blooming in a crack at the edge of the freeway, and how I wished I could stop and bring it home.