It's nice to be back on the civilized side of 5am at last. During these earliest sunrise days, I have generally decided to forego the alarm and let my body decide whether I should get up for dawn, thus the sparse entries. On this muggy morning the early light called me out for a stroll.
If you are missing the dogs in my photos, so am I! But the chance of stray barking at 5am still compels me to leave them indoors until a more reasonable hour.
Yesterday felt like the heart of summer to me. J had a day off, S and T were both home, it was sunny and hot, and we went berry-picking. We visited two different farms, about 8 miles outside of Bangor. The four of us filled our boxes in very little time, on a quiet, late evening as the sun headed toward the western horizon. There is something so satisfying in the feel of a perfect raspberry, its soft plumpness pulling off the center like a sleeve and dropping into your hand. With strawberries it's more like the constant thrill of discovery. You lift a wide-leafed jungle of greenery and find scarlet treasures hiding underneath, lit by the setting sun.
Eight quarts of strawberries and 4 quarts of raspberries are now in our kitchen -- well, slightly less than that, given the liberal consumption that went on during the drive home.
S is still looking for his post-college path, sending out job inquiries, writing letters, spending time both here at home and with his girlfriend in New York City. N, in Boston, started a job this week in a science lab at a major hospital research center. She, too, is living with her significant other. I got to visit the two of them in their summer apartment during a follow up research trip of my own for my Rachel Field book.
I love sharing a little part of the odyssey upon which these young travelers have embarked. Job searching, apartment hunting, setting up housekeeping, financial planning, sorting through the sea of paperwork that comes along with life, working out the ever-evolving complexities of relationship. And then there are the less profound, but perhaps even more charming phone calls:
Do you put cumin in your spaghetti sauce?
How do I re-heat rice without a microwave oven?
How many scoops of coffee per cup?
It is both eye-opening and reassuring to realize how much they can still fill my heart and mind, even after launching into the world.
Today, too, I am wistful. The bullfrogs bellow, the birds sing, the sun makes its uncompromising ascent, and I also know that across the country, a family that I love has been plunged into a renewed battle with cancer. Of course I know these heartaches, hurts, fears, and wrenching struggles are happening everywhere, every day. But... so is birth, and sunrise, and berries, jewel-like, ripening in their greenery and glowing a dazzling red in the low light of a summer evening.
Any time I really give it some thought, this world gives me a lump in my throat.