On Summer: an essay

June to September are the months I yearn for as every year closes and begins. They are my summer months. The months I have painted with memory gold, remembered them into a paradise, whether true or false, I indulge myself in them until the truth does not matter.


Summer is lush green. The trees patterned, rippling across with leaves, birds and squirrels in the boughs. Blue sky, studded with aeroplane trails and clouds, is the invitation, the sunshine a reminder. In June and July we buy flowers and tend to the garden pots which survived winter's bitter breath. We kid ourselves by visiting a nursery, gasp at the steep prices, the lacquered pots lacking character, and the flowers yet to bud. We always end up in B&Q, choosing geraniums, dahlias, begonias and lobelia. You choose a few to save from the trolley of doom — plants on their last roots, malnourished but cheap. And we spend our afternoon giving them all new homes.


Weeks pass and they finally bloom, even those we had little belief in. Is it a magic touch? Love? The simple joy of water and sunlight?


Summer is a form of love. I think of this each time I am quiet enough for a flock of blue tits to descend upon the Elder tree. How they fritter and flitter their tiny bodies when all they are is fragile bone; their chests puffed up in the heat of August. They are proud. They too, are in bloom.


I wonder if I could describe myself as something in bloom too. The year has turned on its axis and this summer I was one year sober. I think of the plants in B&Q, the ones left to wilt, to long for loving hands. I remember how we tucked them into soil; I think of me. I have nothing but a smile, a thank you, and the stillness to move again and again toward the sun.


Summer is stillness. The pause. The clichéd calm before autumn's rain. It is the chance to wait. To collect all which has passed, to count the past and take it, finger and thumb like a dandelion clock and blow it gently into the wind.