A Song of Summer
The cicada buzzes as it flies in the air above us. Snooks the Dog, too summer lazy to run, watches it, riveted where she rides, as the Kubota 4-wheeler burrows along through turgid atmosphere.
Cows stand by the waterer in the shade, dazed with the heat, flies becoming a part of them, a swirling appendage. High summer has stunned us all with its glorious liquidity, everything moves a little more slowly, caught in the syrupy time that the season brings with it in all its strength.
New tomatoes ripen on the vine in moments each time one is picked. Too many, we are inundated - canning, drying, salting, cooking, freezing, pickling - preserving these thick flavors for the winter, a paean to our forbearer’s fortitude. Each jar is a memory caught in time for experiencing on a cold winter night, sending concentrated sunlight to carry us through to the next season of flavor.
Under skies deep as wells, the blue house stands solid on the hill, a refuge from the too hot days. It wheezes and breathes, rumbling cool air through its passages. We fill it’s basement belly with the profligate canned bounty that summer provides.
Goats lounge in the sun, absorbing the heat that they love, nibbling with desultory interest at the leaf nearest at hand. They come alive in the mornings and evenings, standing on their hind legs to curb the foliage. It is a height just at the edge of ducking, to make my walks an exercise in attention to avoid having my hat knocked off. Conversely, cows actively occupy the ground with their own land mines, so now I must look both up and down to travel with any illusion of safety.
Rock roads toss up their dusty August fog as cars drive by; we are lucky that there are only a few that pass. The whiteness hangs in the air for quarters and halves of hours on a breezeless evening, white shrouds in the valleys, wispy gauze on the hills.
Long days roll into long evenings and short nights. Afternoons on the tractor, mowing and raking hay - three t-shirt days, as I sweat them through. I work as long as the light will allow, until My Love reminds me that there is life to live outside of work. Ponds to swim and kayak, nights to enjoy our dark sky, lighting bugs and stars. Good food to eat. Hours on the porch ruminating on the passing thunderstorms over the horizon, time spent watching an early morning owl hunt a mouse.
All of this is our summer, svelte and languorous, sultry and stoic. Romantic. Long drawn out moments move like the sweat on a cold soda bottle and drip as honey into the bucket of time now gone.
Summer on the farm.