Monday, June 8, 2015

S is for Summer

"The world, like a great iris of an even more gigantic eye, which has also just opened and stretched out to encompass everything, stared back at him. And he knew what it was that had leaped upon him to stay and would not run away now. I’m alive, he thought."  
- Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

One of the perks of being a teacher is that each year I get to relive the excitement of childhood's most dazzling day; a day that children all across the nation long for, wait for, plan for and dream of months in advance...The first day of summer vacation! Summer vacation - those mythical, magical two months sandwiched somewhere between June and September that allow for teachers, parents and students alike to step away from their schedules; to relax and recharge. I always have ambitious plans for my "vacation" of course: catching up on neglected home projects, family excursions, expanding on classroom reading lists. But also included is time set aside for resting, and for slowing down. This year the first book on my summer reading list arrived as if on cue from the Sonoma County Library. Helen Mac Donald's H is for Hawk. I plan to spend a good hour each day reading it during my late afternoon hammock time. You can read a review here:

Mizuno Wave Inspire running shoes: color - Florida Keys. It has been four years since I have purchased running shoes, and I feel like Douglas Spaulding in chapter five of Dandelion Wine. Douglas spies a pair of tennis shoes in the window of the shoe store. Not just any tennis shoes, the "Royal Crown Cream-Sponge Para Litefoot Tennis Shoes" are what Douglas needs to be able to run. They are infused with summer, and he needs shoes that have the magic to do everything magical that summer requires. 

Did someone leave this sign here just for me? Today is a special event: my first summer walk along the Joe Rodota trail. This paved trail runs through my town of Sebastopol, and in the summer I visit it often, increasing my mileage as the the weeks progress.The walk serves a dual purpose - first, to gently tame my body muscle back into tone and second, walking in nature restores that childlike wonder of being alive, taps into the deep reservoir of inner surprise activated by the everyday world of birds, woods, blackberries, plums and sky.

I listen. Sparrow, swallow, finch. This summer morning is bright and washed clean. Everything is rinsed - sky and tree, splashes of birdsong   I stop to photograph a blooming Catalpa tree, fragrant blossoms of Captapla snow already gracing the ground. An old friend emerges from the weeds and thicket to greet me. I remember him from last summer. It looks like he is enjoying the day as much as I am. Together we drink in the peace of this time and place, every warm drop.

 "The grass whispered under his body.  He put his arm down, feeling the sheath of fuzz on it, and, far away, below, his toes creaking in his shoes.  The wind sighed over his shelled ears.  The world slipped bright over the glassy round of his eyeballs like images sparked in a crystal sphere.  Flowers were sun and fiery spots of sky strewn through the woodland.  Birds flickered like skipped stones across the vast inverted pond of heaven.  His breath raked over his teeth, going in ice, coming out fire.  Insects shocked the air with electric clearness. Ten thousand individual hairs grew a millionth of an inch on his head.  He heard the twin hearts beating in each ear, the third heart beating in his throat, the two hearts throbbing his wrists, the real heart pounding his chest.  The million pores on his body opened.
I’m really alive! he thought."
- Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine