Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lovely Days

Summertime, and the living is easy
fish are jumping
and the cotton is high...

It's a beautiful Oregon morning. I am sitting now with a cup of espresso -- a must-drink for any Willamette Valley soul. If you took a close look at most Portlanders' blood, it might look a little darker than your average American's -- half red and white cells, half warm, black, Stumptown Organic Blend. I woke to a cool breeze pushing me out of bed, after it was finally warm enough outside to fling the windows wide open all night. On the first full day of summer it's finally starting to feel like it; a little pall of humidity in the air, the clouds gentle white streaks in the sky, my dog begging to go outside at the first break of day. My sunflowers are starting to grow by leaps and bounds, as they should in June, and the slugs are beginning to get big enough to show their antennaes -- eating holes in my garden the size of their bastard bodies each day. Poppy, dianthus, calendula, nasturtium and chamomile flowers are showing their first cautious blooms... o, and we have cherries! We made that discovery the other night, when my daughter decided to set up the sprinkler under the big awkward tree in the backyard, and run through it fully-clothed. I freaked a little when i saw the red streaks on her face, from eating the fruits she'd found on the ground. Since i didn't know we had a cherry tree, i was worried that she was eating some poisonous bird-berry that she'd found... but on further inspection i found out what it really was. So now we have three kinds of fruit to munch on all summer -- after the strawberries and blackberries finally get into gear. Wait -- make that four -- there's an apple tree too!

On these days i can't help but think about all my friends and family, flung all across the world -- so i write to entice them to come for a visit. Or maybe forever. I imagine them all, doing the wild things that single people do -- partying, networking, writing, taking photos, hiking, surfing, dreaming, making love... ok yes, i am single as well, but i am steeped in the domesticity of mama-dom too...

But if they do come, i worry sometimes that they may find this life too tame. Sitting in the garden, next to a ragtag bamboo altar is my form of reverence, while my friends frequent gargantuan cathedrals and golden Buddhas. I sip the urban grind, while they knock back Mojitos and Singha. But maybe i am wrong. More and more of them have plans to come to Portland, to get a taste of the life that, while not exotic, is quite idyllic. So i sit next to the faded-faced Buddha altar, trading excitement for idyll, waiting for white flowers to become peapods, and waiting for more of my chosen family to clear a place among the weeds.

My daddy's rich
and my mama's good lookin
so hush little baby
don't you cry...

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