Friday, July 05, 2024

Friday Ramble - Summer's Ticking Clock

Somewhere in the dusty recesses of my noggin, the passage of these sultry summer days is being marked, and ever so wistfully. The clock of the seasons is ticking away in the background, and hearing it, I find myself pondering the lessons held out by this golden interval that is passing away all too swiftly. The other three seasons of a northern calendar year are splendid of course, and there are surely other fine summers ahead, but this summer is waning, and its days are numbered. The summer solstice has come and gone, and we are sliding gently down the hill toward autumn, shorter days and longer nights.

Thoughts of coming and going are ever inscribed on summer's middling pages, and they're unsettling notions, making for restlessness and vague discontent, a gentle melancholy concerning the nature of time, a wistful sense of what is falling away and the transience of all earthly things. A heightened awareness of suchness (or tathata) is a middle-of-the-summer thing for sure. For the most part, one goes gently along with the flow of the season, breathing in and out, trying to rest in the moment and do the gardeny things that need doing.

Old garden roses are a perfect metaphor for the season. Most bloom once in a calendar year, but what a show they put on when they do. Their unruly tangles of wickedly thorny canes and blue-green leaves wear delicate pink (for the most part) blooms with crinkled petals and golden hearts. Each rose is unique, and each is exquisite from budding until its faded petals flutter to earth like snowflakes. For several weeks after Midsummer, fragrance lingers in every corner of the garden, and every year I fall in love with old roses all over again. It is nothing short of a miracle that creatures so beautiful and fragile thrive this far north.

Once in a while, I catch a glimpse of the Great Mystery while I am hanging out in the garden, and that is surely what this old life is all about. Sometimes, I wish I did a better job of remembering and keeping everything in perspective, but forgetting now and then is quite all right - I have my roses to remind me.

1 comment: said...

Yes, Cate, you've eloquently said what I have been feeling. It's not quite time to become enthusiastic anticipating the glories of autumn. There is a wistfulness present bearing witness to the gradual shortening of days which on the one hand can seem too long in their heat and humidity but also too brief as flowers cycle through their existence and the morning chorus is not as lively. Ah, impermanence.