On most of my websites one finds a leitmotif of the seasons. In my once profession of Child Psychiatry we recognized that the best ally our healing efforts have is normal development. Organic change as in normal maturation or the cycle of the seasons imposes on the planet’s living creatures imperatives that can be relied on to bring joy and awe and what is necessary for the next day. All that is required is to be aware.
In the real summers of my Oklahoma childhood it was the night when life could begin to stir as energy depleted by daytime heat restored itself, aided by supper of skillet fried round steak, tomatos and onions and hot coffee. Aroma of the sturdy 4 O’Clocks garnished the air enfolding men holding hoses dispersing water on uncut grass and browned shrubs.
The splattering of the water blended with the voices of the women and snapping beans and shelling peas. Children paused in their games to hear much more than intended.
One evening my mother’s mother looked to the crescent moon and declared; “They had just invented the train when I was born, the car came after I had all but two of my children, the airplane after more than half of my grandchildren and you my daughter will live to see men go to and walk on that moon.” And so she did.
Stars. These summers of our earliest memories were of night skies filled with the blinking of stars making the rising lightening bugs difficult to discern as they joined the patterns of the constellations.
Through the summer’s progress Leo appears from below the far distant horizon as Gemini disappears descending in the west to well below eye level. The Milky Way could be imagined as just broadcast seed. some hanging still in the atmosphere.
Those long hot summers with their skies over the plains of my memories presented expanses of lights promising the child I was boundless unique places and individuals I intended to know and connect to. Even as I child I knew the time was too short.
In appreciation of the spectre of unhappy truths and riddles awaiting confrontation, I know I am no different than many who endeavor to re-enact those periods of life demanding only absorption with self. I unashamedly acknowledge such preoccupation with the “salad days” of past summers. It serves my purposes so admirably.