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Why Summer?


Maybe it is the all-penetrating light. It comes at you from every direction. It surrounds you, reflecting from the dark, rich green of leaf, off twigs, rock and sky. This light is the light of Life because this is the season of life, when everything is growing, growing, growing, and all of this fecundity is fed by, nurtured by, loved by - light. We are closest to our source of light and life - the Sun - in this time and because of that its rays beat down incessantly at a very high angle, dominating our existence much more obviously than it does in other seasons, giving us wonderfully long days and short, warm nights. FLORA

Maybe it is the incredible plant-growth. While it is true that the sun is setting a little earlier now and rising a tad bit later than at the Summer Solstice, you'd be hard put to prove that to any and all of the creatures and plants in our neck of the woods.

All the plants are still reaching as high into the sky as they can, turning raw sunlight (energy) into life (matter), all the while simultaneously digging their roots as deep into the earth as they possibly can. How much we are (or should be) like them - heads in the sky and feet on the earth. Making hay while the sun is shining, indeed.


Maybe it is the out-of-control animal-life. Everywhere you look there is life - birds cavorting, flying, doing their thing - Bald Eagles swooping down on fish, which the streams and ponds are thick with. Hummingbirds intrepidly nectaring, bravely fending off other avians five times their size. White-tail Deer fawns and Black Bear cubs frolicking. Millions upon millions of rodents, feeding on plants and small insects, in turn being preyed upon by hawk, owl, coyote and fox. The air itself thick with the incredible richness of summer insect life, it's almost like all those bugs are held up solely by the super-dense air.


Maybe it is the overwhelming heat, surrounding us, bathing us in its humid breath. This is the breath of Life, infusing all around it with the inherent richness of this time, imparting the water-wealth of the earth even into the air itself, nurturing so many plants and creatures with its great power. Walking through the thickness that is our summer air can sometimes be more like wading. It is so easy to break a sweat now. Any exertion will do it. Some (granitic?) rocks will "sweat", as well, and they seem to be just sitting there! To watch the humid air rise after a summer rain is to observe the earth-mother exhaling, creating the very essence of life.


Maybe it is the cacophony of multitudinous sounds. The myriad birds who start their day (and our day, as well) so much earlier than the rest of the year. The incredible chorus of seasonal Cicada, Cricket and Katydid, joyously piercing the air with their incessant, rhythmic calls, in their ancient yearly mating ritual. Such rich sounds, pitched just high enough for all to hear, but not so much to bother (almost) anyone - millions of little bells ringing, rasping rhythms of foreleg rubbed on abdomen.

Probably directly correlating to the human body-language of the wink of an eye or subtle turning up of the corner of a mouth or eyebrow.


Maybe it is the clear, fresh water. The joy of feeling the cool water wrap around you after walking on a hot day, covering your entire body, trying to invade each and every pore. To lie suspended on the surface, relaxed, knowing you've returned to where you came from - the very life-blood of the mother. For now, you can let the stream take you for a moment, drifting along with time, 'til your body touches the stony bottom, waking you from your summer reverie, to go back into the seasonal heat once more - but refreshed. Unconsciously, you are reminded that someday you'll return to the great mother, to be reborn into another flowing stream of consciousness.


Maybe it is how the rich, brown earth feels on bare feet walking, directly communicating with the earth in some most ancient way, with nothing between you and her. Summer is a time to FEEL the light around us, to FEEL the life surrounding us, to FEEL the very air, even to FEEL the intensity of the season's sounds. Such a visceral, in your face, not subtle by any means, intense time of year. I always love it and never want it to end but I know it must, in order to come back again.


Maybe it is all of these things - the light, the heat, the rain, the animals and plants of midsummer, the clear water and rich, dark soil (itself filled with bacterial-, microbial- and insect-life) - maybe it is all of these things that - together - add up to be the mid-point of our summer, the Peak of Life, as it were. So many things to love about high summer, including the joy of sharing it with family and friends. Summer memories are shared all the rest of the year, a kind of "thought-harvest" that we can glean and remember to help warm us in the cold season to come, as we all swing around the Sun on this incredible journey. Thank you all for sharing it with me. Please have a safe and enjoyable summer. Take Care, "Ranger" Dave Holden(845)594-4863; peregrine8@hvc.rr., Woodstock Trails on Facebook; rangerdaveholden on Instagram

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