August mornings are usually cool and refreshing, although temperatures may well be in the thirties later. At times, they hover near forty (Celsius) when humidity is factored into the equation. Rural waters are receding as they usually do in late summer, and in places, one can wade across rivers and stream without ever getting wet above her ankles. September rains will replenish northern waters in a few weeks, and we long for the cooler days that will come with them.
At one end of our pond is a shallow waterfall surrounded by stones, and the sound of the gently falling water is a pleasant music in late summer. I could sit there for hours and sometimes do just that, resting in peaceful companionship with scores of tiny jewel-eyed frogs basking in the refreshing stone-scented wetness and quiet. The falls are a fine place to hang out at this time of the year, and they're another scene I revisit in January when snow is deep in the countryside, and northern waters are silent under a quilt of ice. The susurrus of the cascade is a seasonal mantra, late summer light and floating leaves dappling the surface of the pond, reeds swaying to and fro, the watchful repose and Zen posture of my little friends on their cool wet rocks.
Summer time is kairos (or non-linear) time anyway, but August is passing in another, more mindful way this year. For the second summer in a row, I have been mostly (but not always) indoors and coping with health matters too tedious to write about. Along with the other "life stuff", there are respiratory difficulties now and again, and the consequences are simply hilarious. My ability to speak or sing comes and goes (mostly goes), and not having a voice makes for interesting moments at times. I lunch with friends and converse with them by waving my hands in the air and making faces, lurch to the telephone when it rings and remember as I am picking it up that I have nothing to say, or rather that I can say nothing. Such events are koans or learning experiences of sorts, little windows allowing one to see the world differently for a while.
I laugh, and my laughter is an odd sound, lacking the grace of flowing water or floating leaves but still organic—it falls somewhere between a rasp and a hollow creak like an old tree in the wind. "Wild", I say to myself, "you're becoming just wild, hen". Is there a finer thing to be?