They call them “God’s candles,” the yuccas that bloom seemingly overnight all over the mountain in the spring. As one who trudges reluctantly to bed while it is still light in order to wake again in darktime, I don’t think of them as candles to illumine the night, but rather as natural glow sticks (given the way in which they nearly hum with light when the unfiltered sun crests the ridge and finds them in the morning) to guide the robins and tanagers and black-headed grosbeaks back to the high slopes after spending an easier winter in the foothills.
And I know, when I drive to work each morning and see those tall, lustrous blooms beside the road, that in a very short time—a few blinks of the eye, a few tea bags expended—that it will be summer again.
Summer, when I can spend long hours writing again.
Summer, when I can spend long hours reading again.
Summer, when I can wander off, as I did today, after a morning of cleaning windows and answering email, to walk in the forest and find new trails by just pulling over where I haven’t pulled over before and following the stream, rock-hopping in the shade of towering trees as the breeze blows the scent of pine and sage across my face and the falling water reminds me once again that Nature has her own song.
Summer, when there is time and opportunity to wander in the late evening, to watch for bats or the little fox that lives by the waterfall or the rise of the moon over the eastern ridge.
Summer, when there are no bells, buzzers or alarms to regulate my choices, where spontaneity allows for long visits with friends or journal entries that go on for pages or a song session with the guitar that lasts for hours.
It’s easy, in summer, to lose track of time, immersing myself in the moment at hand with all its sights and scents and songs, and in doing so, lose track—if just for that moment—of all the tiny turbulences that disrupt the peaceful flow of life. And it’s easy, in those long, reflective, contemplative and tranquil moments, to believe—whether truth or fantasy—that I can return home and write words that have as much beauty as they have meaning.