Saturday, June 30, 2007


I thought I had so much time to post about this subject, and now it is the last day of June for another year. June - my birth month and my anniversary month, the prettiest month of the year (or at least tied with May), the month when the delicate little wild prairie roses bloom and give off their heady scent. And now summer is one third over!
Under Daisy's tutelage, I had meant to share her "Greedy, Juicy, Learning Summer of Personal Delights." (And in my mind I always added the word "Luscious").
Oh, I have done some things. I have sat out on the deck on lovely evenings and enjoyed how the setting sun slanted through the trees and illumined the grass. I have read more books, always a greedy delight to me. I have sniffed the sweet smell of yellow clover - the scent that means summer in North Dakota to me.
I have been enjoying everyone else's flowers, as I have taken a one year hiatus from planting my own flowers. I have sipped glasses of lemonade filled with plenty of ice. I have eaten dinner at an outdoor restaurant on a balmy evening. I have had strawberry shortcake. I've had fresh corn on the cob slathered with butter.
But there are so many things I have not done yet! I haven't taken my little trip to see the bluebird trail. I haven't eaten a ripe peach and let the juices slide down my chin. I haven't taken a slice of watermelon outdoors and spit out the seeds. I haven't been anywhere near a river or a lake. I haven't even driven out to the country to just sit and watch and listen to nature. Bismarck is really such a small city that many would scoff to even call it that, but it is a city and I do feel hemmed in by it so often.
I would love to go for an evening boat ride on the Missouri River and feel the cool water spray on my face (no friends with boats at the moment!). I would love for my sister and I to take one of our infrequent jaunts to Minot (we used to drop her kids off at the State Fair and then do our own thing). How I wish we again lived close to Minnesota so I could smell the pines and hear the loons and (yes, I admit it), shop the quaint little stores.
There are pleasures still to be had - the peaches and watermelon are there to be purchased. I'll speak to my sister about that trip to Minot, even if both her kids have jobs now and are too old for the State Fair anyway. Maybe one of my friends would like to take a drive west to see the bluebird trail and visit the monks at Assumption Abbey.
Ahead there's still the Fourth of July celebration on the Capitol Mall, with fireworks and music furnished by the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony. My sis and I will go to Art in the Park in Mandan on the Fourth if she doesn't work, and there's the Capital Affaire on the Capitol Mall in August.
I can drive out to Sibley Park, just south of town, and watch the river slip by. I'll drive out to Fort Lincoln and go up the hill to the blockhouses. I'll hear meadowlarks and bobolinks and watch the setting sun (too many trees around my house). After having just read about Crazy Horse, I'll be thinking about how all this land was once owned by the Lakota and how they were robbed of it by the whites.
There are some movies coming that I actually want to see, so I'll beat the heat with a few matinees. I'll have a hot fudge sundae at the DQ and think about my Aunt Mary, who always had to have a hot fudge sundae when she came to town. I'll buy some Coppertone and slather it on myself - even though I don't go in the sun anymore - because that will surely be a sense memory for me.
Yes, there are still many more personal delights to be had during my greedy, juicy, learning summer.
What is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays;
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
Every clod feels a stir of might,
An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And, groping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
The flush of life may well be seen
Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
The cowslip startles in meadows green,
The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
And there's never a leaf nor a blade too mean
To be some happy creature's palace;
The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
And lets his illumined being o'errun
With the deluge of summer it receives;
His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,
And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,-
In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?
Now is the high-tide of the year,
And whatever of life hath ebbed away
Comes flooding back with a ripply cheer,
Into every bare inlet and creek and bay;
Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it,
We are happy now because God wills it;
No matter how barren the past may have been,
'Tis enough for us now that the leaves are green;
We sit in the warm shade and feel right well
How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell;
We may shut our eyes but we cannot help knowing
That skies are clear and grass is growing;
The breeze comes whispering in our ear,
That dandelions are blossoming near,
That maize has sprouted, that streams are flowing,
That the river is bluer than the sky,
That the robin is plastering his house hard by;
And if the breeze kept the good news back,
For our couriers we should not lack;
We could guess it all by yon heifer's lowing,
And hark! How clear bold chanticleer,
Warmed with the new wine of the year,
Tells all in his lusty crowing!
Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how;
Everything is happy now,
Everything is upward striving;
'Tis as easy now for the heart to be true
As for grass to be green or skies to be blue,-
'Tis for the natural way of living:
Who knows whither the clouds have fled?
In the unscarred heaven they leave not wake,
And the eyes forget the tears they have shed,
The heart forgets its sorrow and ache;
The soul partakes the season's youth,
And the sulphurous rifts of passion and woe
Lie deep 'neath a silence pure and smooth,
Like burnt-out craters healed with snow.

by James Russell Lowell


Miss Robyn said...

seems to me you are going to be mighty busy in the next 2/3rds of summer! somewhere in the wise words of Daisy - there is a post written about her living an idyllic life.... I will find them for you.
Julie- this was a delightful post - I loved reading it, actually I read it twice - thankyou for being YOU xo
isn't luscious a perfect word!

Tea said...

Loved reading this post. Shhhhh....don`t speak of summer being 1/3 over yet LOL. I heard the other day on the radio that Christmas was in 6 months. Oh ...the snow.....pretty but yuk.


Lisa Oceandreamer Swifka said...

I am so behind sweet Julie Marie in wishing you birthday wishes and anniversary wishes and just hello for the day. I love reading your blog and as I sat reading this post I thought here again is someone I'd love to meet...and there again this person is in another part of the country. Sipping that cold lemonade I'd pick your brain about all the books and we would tell each other of our summer memories. This was a great post. Here it is July and I have not had a true summer yet...bathed in gray my world is finally giving over to color. Oh and what luscious, juicy, luminous, vibrant color I forsee.
Tell me, what book did you read about the Lakota??
love and hugs,

Lila Rostenberg said...

I love this post about summer's delights! You do a wonderful job of creating and sharing the moment.
My mother was reciting the poem..."What is so rare as a day in June," when I was visiting her in early June. She had memeorized much of it in school.

Here comes July!!!!

Sheila said...

I loved reading this.
You still have time to do all those things and more.
Take your time, it is a season to be savoured, not rushed.
Each day will bring a new experience, and add to your memories.
I haven't eaten a peach yet either this year, I will remedy that today..!

couragetocreatewriteandlove said...

You remind me so much of Daisy...
I have to do a list like this, too.
My fresh peaches are long gone. But I made some butter and jam with them. Would you like me to mail you some?
I am with you on June and May being my favorite months, LOL
Wonderful post!

Anonymous said...

Such beautiful images!

Anonymous said...

You write so beautifully, and put the right touches with each .Here's hoping you will write more again one day...