Summer. Thoughts while resting outdoors after mowing and weed whacking:
“Nor can foot feel, being shod.” I remembered barefoot days. We anticipated the day in spring when parents told us we could go barefoot. Thereafter we wore shoes rarely until school started. Splinters were inevitable. An adult sterilized a sewing needle with a lighted matchstick, removed the splinter, and doused the area with a good strong swab of fiery red-colored antiseptic and sometimes a band-aid. And then on we trod or ran.
As children, we wore little in summertime: most days only underwear and short pants. We anticipated the grass watering with sprinklers shooting arcs of water into the air in swinging pendulums and ran and jumped through the water.
“The bug spray! The bug spray!” we shouted to celebrate the arrival of the back-of-the-truck fog machine that sprayed thick gray clouds of DDT onto the yards–and onto us as we ran behind the truck, enjoying obscuring ourselves and inhaling the summer-associated smell.
These were good thoughts as I, covered with sweat, rested, sipped water, and enjoyed the heat and humidity of a July late afternoon in the dog days of summer.
Quotations from Readings of the Week
“The past has become no more than the chance that something in the attic will be valuable to a rich buyer. PBS–our largest provider of public television, putatively the disseminator of the best in art, investigative reporting, and culture–has turned itself into a vehicle for Antiques Roadshow, on which preserved garbage masquerades as a history lesson.” (Mark Greif, “American Idle” in Harper’s, July, 2016)
“Pesky facts demonstrate that very few people in this country successfully use guns to defend themselves from bad people–unless you count the nearly two thirds of American gun deaths that are suicides as a sad and peculiar form of self-defense.” (Rebecca Solnit, “The Ideology of Isolation,” in Harper’s, July, 2016)
“Forests capture and hold echoes of everything that happens within them, keeping the knowledge stored for those with the ability to access their mystery, and for this reason perhaps people have worshipped in groves of trees from the earliest of times.” (John Matthews and Will Worthington, The Green Man Tree Oracle: Ancient Wisdom from the Greenwood. Barnes & Noble, 2003)
“. . . the windshields of the parked cars pooling in the light like puddles after a storm, birds chattering in the trees, the smell of the earth and the grass so intense it was intoxicating. . . .” (T. Coraghessan Boyle, “The Fugitive,” short story in The New Yorker, July 4, 2016)