Sunday, July 8, 2007
My July Day
My kitchen calendar says the date is July 8th. In other places that I’ve lived, July equals hot. Full-fledged long summer days with a heaviness in the air that covers you like a blanket. In this place, however, early July is early summer, bursting forth in that fleeting shade of green that is the meaning of “new”.
I was driven out into the lushness of it all this morning. It wasn’t because I wanted to commune with nature or anything noble like that. I just needed an escape. Today was one of those mornings when the little stresses of everyday life have been gnawing at everyone’s nerves and the way that someone squeezes the tube of toothpaste creates an all-out war. So, out of the house I went, iPod dutifully plugged into my ears, to find some peace and quiet. What I found was far more valuable.
I had been walking only a short while when I first noticed a trio of robins standing on the path in front of me. These were young birds, likely from the same nest, new to both their wings and the world around them. A little farther ahead, a fourth fledgling robin stopped and looked at me. His inexperience let me come within a few feet of him before he flew to a branch of the nearest larch. Further on, a tiny junco sat on the top of a street sign pole, the white of his tail feathers flashing as he dipped under a birch and landed on a lawn.
It was probably the junco that made me realize that everything around me was finally bursting with life. As I walked on, this is what I saw: pin cherry trees laden with small green fruit on the verge of plumping before they can ripen; the cream-coloured blossoms of dogberry trees (Mountain Ash) that have the unforgettable fragrance of a wet dog dipped in cologne; straight-as-a-whip green London Dock whose brown flowers are yet weeks away; Northern Wild Raisin shrubs with blooms that are just barely there. Everywhere I looked life was on the edge of fullness, young and fresh and filled with promise.
As I finished up my walk, I encountered my 10 year old daughter and her two friends who were cycling down our street, starting off on a bike ride. They stopped for a brief chat with me, and then rode on. As I looked back at them I was filled with the most profound sense of gratitude that I’ve experienced in a long time. I could almost fall on my knees with the realization that my world is literally dripping with abundance. Truly, my cup is running over with the people I am so fortunate to have in my life, and with the life that is all around me, if I only bother to look.
Sometimes, fights over the toothpaste end well.
(The photo on the top is a white wild rose from my back garden. It smells heavenly!)