Dita Parker

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Between the bird cherry and the lilac

Mellan hägg och syren. According to the Swedish byword, the most beautiful, most magical time of the year falls between the blossoms of bird cherries and lilacs in full bloom. It is but a fleeting moment in the intersection of May and June, spring yielding to summer. You can feel it in the air, in the ground, all around. Summer is almost here. But not yet.

Mornings can be cool but they come with the promise of warmth. Days are temperate; never too hot, the air fresh and fragrant. In a month, heat will have driven off the crispness and dampened the smells, turned them rancid even. I don't mind the heat, dry or humid. I'm a summer gal through and through. But there is something about this threshold, this moment between the bird cherry and the lilac, that calls to me as loudly and clearly as any summertime day.

The urgency of now pulls me outdoors and takes me to the ground, quite literally. It has me digging in the dirt, planting, weeding, tending. It has me working on the porch whenever I can (laptop=pop-up office), and when the working day is done, it makes me resist going inside. Not that anyone else in the family wants to, either. Not yet.

It's hard to stay indoors unless you absolutely have to. You've waited months for this. It's here. It's finally here! Life, live. You don't want to miss a thing: the sight of bumble bees at work, the call of a stock dove, the taste of the first straws of chive, the scent of earth as it warms up, how supple it feels beneath your feet. The ground will grow hard; summer will try to dry it up. But not yet.

You don't have to travel to reach it, you don't have to budge to grasp it. All you have to do is pick a spot and open up your senses. In a few months, you'll need the memory of every sight, scent, sound and sensation. Here today, gone tomorrow. You know that. You remember that. You don't want to, not actively, but the knowledge sits there in the back of your mind. The sensory overload will turn into deprivation. But not yet.

Winter was long, and as snowy and thus overflowing with outdoor activities as it was, you can only take it in a few hours at a time; because it's not only cold, it's so very dark. In the winter, all days are nights, but now... Now the nights are days, the sun awakening in the wee hours of the morning and going to bed after you do. The progression of light will come to a halt and do a U-turn at another intersection: Midsummer. Eventually. Soon. Just not yet.

No comments: