Summer Life on the Farm

Summer–the season of growing–the season when everything renewed with spring finds time to settle in and push down roots. Have I ever stopped to note the miracle that the seasons are perfectly arranged with the birthing, growing, maturing, and aging, death and birth cycle of our own lives?

The trees put on rapid new growth, leaves and limbs surge out and upward reaching for the hot blue sky. Leaves wave at the birds that fly over their heads or nest in their branches.

Summer is flowers blooming from the buds of spring and with the warm days and the bumblebees. Of bud vases and old glass salt cellars of roses lining the kitchen windowsill. Of crockery pitchers, milk bottles, and other odd vases of wildflower bouquets from the pasture and the roadside.

It’s thunderstorms crashing and romping and stomping and fading to rumbly-bumbly steady feeding rains that let you float in fluttery half-sleep places of lemon-poppyseed-bread dreams.

Summer is horses grazing in shady spots in wide sunny pastures, their tails flicking constantly at pesky flies. It is porch swing sitting after a swim. It is the scent of mud, as strong but not as pleasing as the soil turned up with tilling and planting the spring garden.

The squish of mud between your toes is a special delight that my plants seem to love as warm days have settled their roots and stems safety in. They are like five-year-olds that discover food is good after all and start devouring nutrients that they refused earlier. Suddenly the grass the trees, the shrubs, the plants, peonies, roses, and hydrangeas, the things that you thought would never grow take off like rockets.

Summer is crickets chirping, full moons, fireflies blinking in the dark, starry, starry nights and warm quiet mornings–stiller than dusty old churches on weekdays.

That’s summer with its longer hours of sunshine, with heat and evening rains. How I love the sounds of tree frogs singing in the wetter places by the willows where the pasture slopes down to the creek. I love those lazy afternoons when cicadas in the oak tree whine and drone on and on in a rising and falling pattern like a piano student practicing his scales.

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