Six months ago

Looking down our road, already baking in lovely early morning sunshine, it’s hard to remember that only six months ago it was covered in snow. I hope the fact that we had a cold winter with snow, and now a hot summer with sunshine, signals a return to more distinct seasons. It was so depressing, when for a couple of years  there seemed to be whole years of dreary sameness, miserable, wet dreary winters, and pretty wet, miserable dreary summers. I’m a bit of a child when it comes to snow, I love it, but I do understand that it makes life difficult for some people (although I do think we are too easily panicked into closing schools etc) I like there to be a season which is definitely spring-time, and not just a damp intermission between a slightly colder and slightly warmer time of year. I like autumn to be splendidly clothed in glory, and mysterious fogs to herald winter’s coming. It’s all about balance, a natural balance, and over the last few years, whether there has been long-term climate-change or not, the seasons seem to have been out of balance.

This afternoon, I’m helping at a local fund-raising fête, last year I did the same, and we stood in drizzle, the ink on our notices running, the notices themselves flapping away in the chilly wind, and no-one interested in anything on our stall as everyone wanted to shelter in the tea tent. It will be a different story this afternoon I think!


In Summer Time

When summer time has come, and all
The world is in the magic thrall
Of perfumed airs that lull each sense
To fits of drowsy indolence;
When skies are deepest blue above,
And flow’rs aflush,–then most I love
To start, while early dews are damp,
And wend my way in woodland tramp
Where forests rustle, tree on tree,
And sing their silent songs to me;
Where pathways meet and path ways part,–
To walk with Nature heart by heart,
Till wearied out at last I lie
Where some sweet stream steals singing by
A mossy bank; where violets vie
In color with the summer sky,–
Or take my rod and line and hook,
And wander to some darkling brook,
Where all day long the willows dream,
And idly droop to kiss the stream,
And there to loll from morn till night–
Unheeding nibble, run, or bite–
Just for the joy of being there
And drinking in the summer air,
The summer sounds, and summer sights,
That set a restless mind to rights
When grief and pain and raging doubt
Of men and creeds have worn it out;
The birds’ song and the water’s drone,
The humming bees’ low monotone,
The murmur of the passing breeze,
And all the sounds akin to these,
That make a man in summer time
Feel only fit for rest and rhyme.
Joy springs all radiant in my breast;
Though pauper poor, than king more blest,
The tide beats in my soul so strong
That happiness breaks forth in song,
And rings aloud the welkin blue
With all the songs I ever knew.
O time of rapture! time of song!
How swiftly glide thy days along
Adown the current of the years,
Above the rocks of grief and tears!
‘Tis wealth enough of joy for me
In summer time to simply be.
by Paul Dunbar


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