Billowing cumulonimbus clouds stack
up in the heat of the summer atmosphere.
Absolute, incandescent joy
The heavy summer air tugs and twines cumulonimbus like some airy substance between toffy and cotton candy at a carnival. The shapes of foamy condensation billow and swell, while wisps of atmosphere push them across a field of blue. All the while, the piercing rays of a hot summer sun poke through weak spots in the sky caravans, filtering yellow into white into orange into pink.
In the green-grass field below stands a maple in paradise. In its golden years, the big tree has grown tall and wide, with thick, strong limbs for children to climb on, and deep green leaves to shade lovers' picnics and farmers' perspiring brows. Its roots run as deep as its branches reach high, and are as hardy and stoic as their trunk is round.
The stream nearby feeds maple full of cold, clean water. In spring it overflows its banks to make room for bright green grass, but in the heat of summer it has returned to a steady level, leaving rocks half exposed and washing wood into nothing. Cool and steaming in the waking morning, fishermen test their fly rods at the bounty below. Glistening and glinting in the afternoon sun, families take solace in the calm, cool current.
Downstream, the water disperses some of its gift into a vast, muddy bog. A haven for insects and invertebrates, it also fosters the life of amphibians and birds. Red-winged Blackbirds have built their nests on cattails, and raised their young on the superabundance of bugs. In the mornings and evenings they call to each other in trilling cries to form a chorus with bullfrogs. At dusk they sleep, and let the bats descend upon the feeding grounds.
Each day the fiery sun blazes its deep, soulful body into the water, earth, and air, breathing life into all three. It affords our planet life, and advances growth, bloom, and decay. Cause and effect, the circle of life, time itself. Let us not forget our place during this tiny existence of ours. Let us not forget those incredible miracles of nature that sustain every molecule of our actuality.
Should we become distracted for a time and forget the clouds, the tree trunks, the streams, the birds, our natural selves, we have only to return to the sun and pick up the path. Drink this summer in as deeply as you can - touch the grass, watch the clouds, swim the lakes. Be at peace with people, be in commune with yourself, be reciprocative to the natural world around you.
“Summer afternoon -- summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
- Henry James
See you out there,
A woodsman in training.