Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Garden of the Seasons: July on the Rise


If the month of July is not the time to wait for a full moon to rise over the water, when is? The full moon was July 8 and Anne and I did in fact head over to Wollaston Beach that evening, but that Saturday night in Quincy dark clouds rolled in from the north. After the first shower ended, we sat outdoors at Tony's, the popular fried clam and other seafood place on Shoreline Drive, ordered food (the Mediterranean style chick kebab is actually the best dish on the menu) ignoring the dampness on the chairs and table until the clouds opened up a second time and sent us scurrying. 
            The next night we tried again. Since the moon rises a good bit later every day, we had time to have dinner at home before joining a crowded Sunday night scene at the beach. Not too many of us were there for the moonrise. But when a big round moon did begin to emerge over the Nantasket shoreline, right on time (astronomical events are good that way), we noticed some other folks taking photos as well. 
            The color was magical. The apparent size of the moon just above the horizon makes everything else in the word seem smaller. The reflection it paints on the surface of the water suggests a veritable stairway to the stars. 
            I found a poem I had written about this phenomenon last September, yet another good month for watching a moonrise. Here it is.

Moon Trick

Arriving just in time to pull the moon, that peach-faced joker, 
out of the sea with a string, funny face, magician, trickster,
master of the game. Warm September, so far rainless,
poison flower vines attack the A/C capacitor,
the crickets slow-voiced and humorous,
sounding as if they think they have all the time in the world
to find what they are looking for
(my complacent colleagues, seasonal labor,
always time for another drink),
no hurry till the mercury drops.
I will remember these days, when days are short,
when all the time the world thought it had
turns to dust in trickster's hand.


            Lots of other good things happen in July. The previous week we spent the July Fourth weekend in the Berkshires, enjoying long days of clear, dry weather. The second photo from the top shows one of the flower boxes Anne put together for the deck on her parents' summer place.
    We walked along the shore of the lake called Stockbridge Bowl with some good friends on July 4th, on a path we've taken many times before, but last year began to call 'the Bear Path,' after our surprising encounter with a black bear. No heavy breathing this time. The third photo from the top shows some of us engrossed in a picture-taking session by the lake.    
The three flower photos are from the home garden in Quincy, showing a violet echinacea, and two views of daylilies in the happy days of July when the sun is shining.   
          For the last photo we go back to the Berkshires to the quiet -- I mean, seriously, not a car drove past for half an hour -- country road in the little town of Alford, where they seem to pack in a lot of summer scenery and very little human activity. It was the day before the Fourth of July, and someone had their flag out.