Memories of Summer Nights

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.




A cat called Jack

The classic example of North Georgia humor is the story of the flat lander who admired a farmer’s plow mule and asked the farmer his name. The farmer responded: “I don’t rightly know but we call him Jack”

It was about March of last year soon after I began leaving food for feral cats that I saw Jack,, through the glass doors, tentative, then rushing to the food and gobbling it down. A very pale ginger with some stripes and lots of white he appeared to be a youngster.

As the spring and summer went by he began to appear when I was on the deck and quickly let me know he  would enjoy a stroke or two of his back and neck.  By summer’s end he in my lap and I had shared a number of  evenings  on the deck.

With winter I made it possible for him and friends to stay warm on my enclosed porch.  One especial evening I looked out to see him and a pretty gray and white sharing a chair.  Then something caught my eye on the table across the room.  It was a big fat opossum all sprawled out.  Nobody is an enemy in hard times for critters.

Someplace along the way I realized I had to find something to call him by.  Since I didn’t know his name I have settled on Jack.  And once you start calling a cat by  a name, what else can one do but invite him in?



Good News for The Old South Church

oldsouthchurchOne bit of good news from Boston. The Old South Church, though closed, is secure suffering no damage. It can be seen down Boylston. This current building was put up in the late 1800 and the stained glass is by Tiffany.

It’s history is precious to all who treasure our early history. It is the church where Benjamin Franklin was baptized and Sam Adams and the party left from its old meeting house. It holds copies of 1640 Bay Psalm book and will be auctioning one of the copies in November.

For me and my family is is precious because our earliest ancestors were baptized there almost a hundred years before the revolution. It retains is progressive all encompassing welcoming spirituality. The home page is here.http://www.oldsouth.org/