Summer rhythms

We live by the rhythm of the sun, these long, hot days of July; pulling curtains close against the glare of the afternoon, opening doors and windows wide as it sets and the evening breeze picks up.

And in these days, there are few secrets.

Conversation rises with cigarette smoke at night, and though I can’t see them for the privacy fence between us, I can hear every word they’re saying. A child splashes in the pool all day.

On the other side, in the shaded yard, several children fight their battles and throw their tantrums and laugh and shout, and dogs bark high-pitched and anxious. One wanders into my yard one afternoon, a small boy with food on his face, and a tiny ball of fur on short, stubby legs hurtling after him. I have to set my laundry basket down to catch them both, escort them safely to a sister’s care. The mailman smiles on his way through my yard, to my small box on the front porch.

And the days are long and the sun sets late and I drive home from the council meeting in the gentle dusk, windows rolled down now that the heat has passed. I take the back way home, curving up in the deeper night between the tree trunks, between open fields and rows and rows of corn, too short for July. A cold, wet spring delayed them, I remember now, though that seems like sometime far away.

Laundry dries fast on the line; zucchini plants shoot taller even as I watch in my small garden patch, bees slipping in and out. I haven’t mowed in over a week because the grass has stopped growing.

I plan meals and chores by the forecast, baking only after the sun sets. The fan rattles all afternoon.

Today the heat broke, temperatures fell back into the 70s and 80s, and rain fell gentle off and on. Today the door still stands open, even as noon approaches, and the bedroom curtains still catch the breeze.

When the rain stops I’ll weed the garden beds, taking advantage of the cool.

We’re living by the rhythm of the sun, here.




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