Weave me tomorrow

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 5:00pm

After a glorious June weekend it rained the night before last. I finally had to close the outer door, not against the rain that was falling only onto the cement slab floor of the entry, but to stop my foolish dog from going outside whenever she was almost dry, to fetch yet another stick to fill the close to overflowing box in my living room. It is her toy chest, filled with wood, while her real toys, be they hers or left by soon-to-return visitors, lie outside in the rain. At least they get soft water clean.

It rained into yesterday morning then the sun came out and the silver lake in the nascent riding ring in the front field was quickly diminished to a single puddle. The new grass cheered for a moment, newly watered, then sun dried, before the birds descended upon it, hopping about as though they had discovered manna in the dessert.

There is grass at the edge of the peonies by my door, stalks that measure over four feet high, and I know I should pull it up but it is four feet — and a few inches — tall and I cannot bring myself to touch it while it is new and straight and proud. Every year I do clean it up but it always returns, fed, I imagine by a long established network of roots extending underground.

The flowers are still only deep pink orbs, round buds waiting to open into multiple layers of fragile petals. They are later than others around the island but they have had little care, beside the seasonal grass pulling, since they were planted, and tended for a few years a very long time ago.

There were three plants, bought from a catalog, back when catalogs were printed on paper and come through the mail. There were three of them, this one, another white, which still pops up but rarely bothers to bloom and a third, some in-between color which might have lasted a season or two.

And to think there was a time I had tomato plants producing in such bounty one alone yielded 42 luscious red fruit.

The land survives. Yesterday, as afternoon slipped into a long June evening, I went out to see if the mysterious new horse, the Icelandic arrived on Saturday, was anywhere nearby. Schedules cross and I had yet to “meet” Falki, and he was, again, in the distance, on the far hill, his silver mane lighted by the sun. I'd wait, I decided, until he came to the gate of his own accord, or someone with whom he was already familiar, was about.

The light is wonderful on either side of the day, if insanely early in morning, but it was the smell of the earth, of all that is new and green, that most captured my senses late yesterday. There was nothing in particular, although I know up the road there are bowers of multiflora rose, some still laced with persistent honeysuckle that was the invasive of another time. It climbed up fence posts and weakening black pine trees, slipped over the walls on the way to the Mansion, its yellow and white trumpets begging to be picked for that tiny drop of sweetness hanging in their middle, that true taste of honey they provided.

The old pastures sprout daisies, the flowers we used to pick in great masses for the high school graduation. The year was written in them, yellow and white, among ferns, gathered in the morning, wilting by evening, during the day all pushed into frames covered with chicken wire that would be the backdrop for the ceremony. The exercises were inside, at the school, then the Spring House dining room, and by the time my class graduated, The Empire Theatre.

remember, still, the places we went for daisies, disappearing as houses now surrounded by mown grass, were built, and swampy pond edges, long since lost to brush, where we collected ferns as tall as we were, that filled trunks of the cars as versatile, by necessity more than design, as today's SUVs. And the older ladies talked of stringing daisies for graduation in the Baptist Church on Chapel Street, the building which burned in 1944, not nearly as long ago then as my memories are today, a sobering thought.

To counter it, there are the intoxicating smells of “summer” flowing through the window. They are really of late spring, the beach roses at their peak, the honeysuckle vines, tall grasses going to fragrant seed, all captured in the slight damp that comes as the sun lowers itself toward the tree line.

Here there is no bright golden haze on the meadow, be it morning or afternoon; here it is all purple mist, thick green seeds already changed from their bright appearance. It seems to happen so quickly, one day the grass is verdant, the next it is cut velvet rippling in the wind, then it has peaked.

Up the Mansion Road it seems already top-heavy, yesterday afternoon bowed by the rain, some bending down almost to the dirt; today I didn't even notice. It is early, yet, the grasses usually spring back.

The soundtrack is birdsong and gentle breezes, with a touch of surf when the wind is right.

It is the time of year I look for the lyrics of “Hurry Sundown” and remember there is another version, apparently more popular than the Peter, Paul & Mary song I am seeking, sparking some vague recollection of going through this same exercise another year.

“My” song, the one I always presumed went with the movie I never saw based upon the book I never finished reading, but know was set in the agricultural post war South, is always more somber than I expect.

“Weave me tomorrow out of today” the lyrics implore, wishing that today be lost in the sunrise of a new dawn.

If only it were that easy.