Summer’s End

“With deep-watered roots we never lack–no matter how hot and dry the summer.”

Wayne Jacobsen

Clouds skid across the sky until the sun is hidden and all the blue is filled with blue and gray. Wind blows from the north and it comes in gusts and jerks. The trees seem to be confused about it all. They toss their heads one minute and in the next are still as stone. The silver maple flaps its shiny leaves backsides and dances in the wind.

Pumpkin vines connect orange wonders across the garden where nothing but a few hot peppers still thrive. The cucumbers have overgrown and turned yellow–too many came too fast. Pickles in their sweet sticky syrup in shiny jars line the pantry shelves. Black-eyed peas are simmering on the stove for supper. Hot cornbread will make them a fine treat.

The flowerbeds are neglected. We are hiding indoors with the airconditioning. Outside has baked way past “well done.” Grasshoppers kick up and pop against the window with a thwack! They rub their legs together and nibble at the screens.

Summer drones on in its heat–a heat that soaks into you when you step outside. Shade is a necessity and one that will not even do if there is no breeze.

The dogs have dug in the flowerbeds making some fresh dirt places to cool themselves off a bit. The driveway holds a shimmery mirage as it stretches to the mailbox. The mailbox holds no surprises or packages, just two brittle envelopes of questionable origin: pay this, donate to this cause, vote for him. Hot, hot, hot. Oh what I wouldn’t give for a hand-written letter from my mama. I sure do miss her.

The cicadas sing all afternoon and evening. They leave their exoskeletons on fence posts and tree trunks. Crackly little tan shells missing shiny green wings and bodies. The rhythm rises and falls and pulses in the heat like some prehistoric drumbeat.

The clouds move and bring us one step closer to autumn cool, to school days, sweater time, chilly nights and harvest moons.

“Its rising is from one end of the heavens,

And its circuit to the other end of them;

And there is nothing hidden from its heat.”

Psalm 19:6

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