June moments-a ride on a June evening

I walked down over that steep hill, to the field in the lower property. I had to check the peonies and the cabbage roses.  I have a clematis in full bloom…one that my daughter gave me for mother’s day three years ago–"Margot Koster"…
 
I meander amongst gardens that have become so overgrown…that I wonder at the wisdom of trying to save them.  A few I have gotten to this year, but the rest, it is likely too late to do serious work on them…I mean serious– as in digging up clumps of weedy overgrown perennials and dividing them, spraying what remains in the bed, adding new compost to the bed, then replanting the divided perennials…
 
Studies have been done, and it is proven that it is MORE work to have perennials that re-emerge every year…than it is to just work up your ground in the spring and then plant annuals–the one season flowers.
 
Ugh! Sometimes I am sooo tempted!
 
Today, my little corner of heaven is a world of cloudless climes..brilliant azure skies and rippling breezes that move the scents of pollinator’s seductions through the air…
 
As I walk, my mind wanders as it often does… and I think of the many things that I have enjoyed in the Junes of my life. 
 
Of all the moments that have filled all of the days of my life…June moments are the ones that call out to me. They will not let me pass by, without a backward glance.  The voice that beckons me is in the green of the leaves, the smell of the earth, the blue of the sky…and the very heart that beats under my breasts.
 
June moments…the wonder of life, the raucous joy of living!  Singing in the sunshine…and in the rain!
 
I suppose that my recognition of early June days, started with my education at St. Mary’s school. The last day of school was always a day of turning in your books first thing in the morning…games in the classroom and then a picnic– which we were all expected to bring a lunch for.
 
The finest memory of St. Mary’s that I have…is of a last day of school…wandering out past the playground, through the cemetary, and then venturing into the center of a very large hayfield.  I can still see the waves of grass blowing on the breeze, and the puffy clouds drifting across an incredible blue sky, and a whole herd of boys in black pants and striped shirts…voluntarily separated from a herd of girls wearing pale cotton dresses.
 
We sat in the shade of a  mighty tree, that one lone tree that farmers often left in their fields. And there we ate, comparing what we had packed in our lunches..
 
When we finished eating, we gathered up arm fulls of drying hay that had been raked into rows, and we piled it as high as we could. Then we took turns jumping into the hay… pale cotton dresses and all.
 
And that whole day…as far as I was concerned, summer vacation had started already!  This was freedom; the sunshine on my face and the wind in my hair…being wild, just as wild as an animal, set free.  I must have been all of 8 years old…that last day of school…in early June…
 
Many early June moments have been caught up in my mind… and they vary from wandering fields, woods and streams…to when the horses came onto the farm.  And then early June was always a celebration of sorts… riding in moonlight, unencumbered by the necessity of sleep…for a school night.
 
There is the brilliance of a June day, the softness of a June evening…and in the clarity of a June night, I learned to identify the Big Dipper (ursa major) and the little Dipper (ursa minor) and to see how the two end stars of the Big Dipper pointed to the north star (polaris).  And I learned that a test for your eyesight is to look at the second-to-last star on the handle of the big dipper…and if you can still see that there are actually two stars there–you have nothing to complain about!
 
I have picked more bouquets of wildflowers in June… the yarrow, the deptford pinks and the daisies….and yes indeed, I have made more daisy chains than most, I reckon.  I made them and I wore them…and fair princess was I, in my kingdom of boulder strewn streams, cow pastures, and fields of tall clover.
 
I have been stung by honey bees in June, as I raced, barefoot,  across lawns abuzz with bees drinking the nectar of cinqefoil.  I have walked along an old country lane, and breathed the promise of species–dog roses… and witnessed the promise of endless beauty…
 
I have fallen in love in June… and have been abandoned by love…in June.
 
I learned to water-ski in June, and learned to return the breathy, whistled call of the mourning dove…in June.
 
I recall one summer evening, when my two older children were just toddlers, and my youngest had not even been imagined.  My brother had to go to a neighboring farm a couple of miles away to pick up a gravity bin.  I sat on the fender of the tractor with my daughter snuggled against me, while my son sat on my brother’s knee and ‘helped’ him drive the tractor.
 
Dusk fell ever silently and softly across meadow and field as we drove out along Hull road.  The road was named for the Hull family homestead… and the sole remaining member was an old bachelor who lived alone.  Failing in health, and pitied by most, he counted the days until he joined his kin.  His last remaining brother perished on the Edmund Fitzgerald…
 
We next crested the top of the hill, a high point for sunrises and sunsets…and picked up speed  as we moved down the hill…
 
Finally we turned back an old farm lane… lined with weeds that leaned over, heavy from ripe seedheads, and past old gnarled apple trees that looked like the silhouette of old,stooped-over  forest spirits.  The fireflied emerged…and I felt it, so clearly.
 
It is a moment that stands, leaning forward and looking backward…with the weight of expectation balanced by the weight of a day well lived. A moment of hope…  Not really the day, but not yet the night.
 
An old woman emerged from the house as we pulled in and my brother backed toward the barn. He stopped to talk to the farmer, and the woman invited my children and me in the house.
 
It was ancient, with creaking floors and single pane windows…and the comfort of ages spilling from within.  I looked out the windows at the views and thought that these old farmers who built these houses…might not have been carpenters, but they sure as heck had an eye for a view.
 
The woman doted on my kids, hugging and pinching…and the only sadness that I noted in her, was a wistful second, in her eyes, when I asked her about children and grandchildren.
 
The farmer outside was her only child, and he had never married and never had any children.  It was the first visit that I ever had from the ghost of the life yet to be lived.
 
We drove home, in near darkness, with the steady rumble of the tractor motor drowning most night sounds.  My daughter dozed off against me, and my son slumped back against my brother, as sleep engulfed him…
 
The smell of ripe grasses was present… and the coolness of the valleys sent chills over me…
 
It was a memory of many combined June moments…and may actually be a memory of my  two older children.  They might not know the day, the year, the hour, but more, perhaps they sense on a June evening, when they smell the soft scent of ripe grasses…a feeling of all is right in the world. They are loved, and in the big scheme of things…the world is a good place.
 
The sound of the wind rushing though tall red maples draws me outward into the beauty of the world…today… this moment…
 
The angle of the sun has changed, and shadows hang low and stretch long across feeder valleys… it is time to head home…
 
As I wind my way back up the steep hill, and enter under the canopy of tall trees, I  look skyward first. I watch the wind rustle the leaves of the softwoods, their flattened petioles making them seem to almost shimmer in the brilliant sunlight. They are as, to me, diamonds dancing, stars shimmering and the sparkle in a curious child’s eyes! 
 
My feet slowly shuffle as I defy gravity on the return trip.  The tender spring flowers have given way to the increased heat and sunlight of June…and have been replaced by true competitors.  They have tough-as-leather leaves and stems… the daisies are the most abundant right now and they flank both sides of the road…until the intensifying shade precludes them from existence.
 
Such beauty, such sweet tender memories…such an easy heart lives in this moment…and life is all about moments…
 
These woods are full of fleeting spirits and dancing memories, wafting on the wind with the wild scents of early summer…
 
I know, that the existence of all that is good, and is full of hope, wonder and beauty, is not in peril in moments like these…
Advertisements

About Teresa Cypher

I live with my husband in a humble house in the middle of a tall stand of hardwoods, bordered by soybean and corn fields, in western Pennsylvania. Mother of three adult children and "Grammie" to one sweet little girl, I revel in family gatherings and celebrations. My husband and I care for the gardens on our property--our little corner of heaven, have a glass of wine at sunset, and like to watch the stars come out. Currently working in QC and Development for a Bio-technology Company that produces green, agricultural products. I came into the world a creator of stories. Having been born into a litter, the 7th of 8 children, in a farming family, I have spent most of my life trying to be an individual. My dreams took me there. From the time I was a little girl, I was a thinker, spending any time I could find to be alone--the bastion of undisturbed thoughts, dreaming of other worlds and of fairy-tale love. My mind never shut off-- through the years when thoughts allowed me to escape the everyday world of farm life, to the daydreams while I was raising children and being the cook, the baker, the candlestick maker,and the taxi driver-- all while working full time. It took until middle age for me to realize that my meandering mind was writing stories! Once I sat down and started typing, it took 2 months to write my first book. My biggest challenge at first was getting my fingers to type fast enough to keep up with my mind. My daughter bought me a small digital recorder so I could save my thoughts until my fingers could catch up. The story that I wrote, Across The Night Sky ,was years in the making, and timed well...after I had experienced real life and the joys and heartaches it brings. I think that time gave me a well-spring of experiences from which to merge fairy-tale love with the cynicism adult life creates--while never losing sight of the beautiful and wonderful that love is. Writing is my passion...this incredible discovery in mid life that often keeps me up till the wee hours of the morning. I am so very fortunate to have the opportunity to devote my time to something that brings me such joy.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to June moments-a ride on a June evening

  1. Unknown says:

    Salix, what a beautiful story, like a piece of art you carefully painted each scene. I could smell the hay and grasses, see
    the night sky and the north star. Hear the frogs and crickets singing in the stillness of the night, and the light breeze that
    brushed across your face. How wonderful to be able to so clearly express your feelings and
    memories of that moment. June is your month for sure and writing is your forte. Keep up the
    creativity, don\’t loose that gift of allowing thoughts of the mind to flow out your fingertips and
    deposit themselves on paper.  All the best to you :):)   Rick

  2. Delete52Mitch says:

    Excellent stuff. I can smell the grass!

  3. Unknown says:

    As always, Willow..I love your stories.  I can always feel myself there and they always recall to me similar moments that I recall and treasure.  To me, in Texas, June has always been the soft, warm month…as opposed to August, so hard and hot.  July was vacation and birthday time for me and, though hot, generally floated by for me.   There are some exceptions to this.  Although August was so hot and, in general, a dreary time for me…there was the anticipation of school beginning again (all the new books to read!  friends to see again!)  I was talking with Michael the other night and recalled that the end of June has often been hard for my family…I had a cousin who drowned on June 28 when he was 16. My brother\’s accident was on June 28, too, although he did not die until July 3rd.  But reading your story recalled to mind those wonderful last days of the school year, those first days of summer when we built treehouses and playhouses all over the woods behind our house, first days of swimming in my great-uncles pond.  Hmmm….when I was older, my first foray into \’skinny-dipping\’  (!  not what you are thinking, girl!)   Thanks again for putting into writing your thoughts and memories…I love that you share them and the images that you create.  I also love the memories that they bring to mind for me.

  4. Unknown says:

    How lovely this was on a pretty Tennessee morning right here where I am!I was impressed with an comment you gave another blogger so came over to say hello.

  5. Laugher1957 says:

    What a wonderful piece of work Willow….I am impressed as always. Just stopped by for a quick hello!! June is one of my favorite months as well.  Long long ago when my hair was a different color and my face had no wrinkles and my eyes worked a little better and my walk was a little faster and there was no hair growing out of my ears and my hearing was a bit better (because of the hair maybe??? hmmm) and my belly was as flat as a pancake and I woke in the morning with no aches and pains I got married to Joni in June….Thanks again Willow for the memories!!!

  6. Deborah says:

    "the scents of pollinator\’s seductions through the air…" seductive words indeed.  I get lost in your words truly, so I am pleased you seduced me back with your comment at my place.  I haven\’t heard about the job, so I cannot use that as an excuse for not blogging myself, just busy as a legal assistant during the week, and have been working on an argument for a friend to use with the IRS on Monday regarding a race car they say he can\’t claim as advertising.  Found several instances of it being done and accepted by the tax court, so had to research percentages which I finally found this afternoon.  Still my writing suffers for it.  I will probably write something this weekend.  I had to come here for the inspiration.  Excellent work.
    Blessed be,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s