Saturday, 1 August 2015
Hello August . . .
"Thou crownest the year with thy goodness . . .
and the little hills rejoice on every side. The folds shall be
full of sheep; the valleys also shall stand so thick with corn
that they shall laugh and sing."
The rolling wheel which marks the seasons of the year seems to turn slowly now . . . in August. Cows look for the shade of old oaks and hawthorn which garner the perimeter of the farmer's pasture . . . chewing their cud dreamily beneath the hot August sun . . . nobody seems in a hurry.
Cats slink along the base of hedgerow and stone wall at dusk, whilst dogs bark in a half hearted fashion . . . lacking too the energy to do much. Even the birds silence themselves . . . as silent fields lay scattered with huge rolls of hay, enclosed in black and white plastic jackets.
Pumpkins and squash lay turning gold and orange as the corn ripens . . . silk turning dark. Comes now the hiatis between the hard work of mid summer, and the brisk days of hunkering down for the colder days of Winter to come. Even the gardens take a bit of a holiday . . . as weeding ceases for a season . . . we are all weeded out it seems . . . nature and man move on a light rein for a short restorative time.
August is the time for dreaming, for taking a thoughtful look at life . . . laying in the hammock and listening to the high pitched hum of the cicadas zinging through the air. It is the month of letting go . . .
When I was a child we spent our August days crouched and hunched over beneath the hot sun as we begrudgingly picked blueberries destined for the freezer to become pies once winter settled in. Little blue tastes of summer punctuating the colder months . . . with Saturday morning pancakes or blueberry muffins. 'Twas a chore I hated . . . so much so that I came to loathe the taste of blueberry pie . . . but oh how lovely the memory of them now tastes. It's funny how that goes . . .
August was a boring month in every other sense . . . the novelty of our summer school vacation having now lost its lustre. We never went on holidays away . . . although many of our friends did. With nobody to play with . . . the remaining days of summer lay stretched before us with little to do . . . and we began to look with longing towards the coming of September and the beginning of school. A day at the beach might come our way if we were lucky . . . but it seemed that there was little else to look forward to . . .
My Birthday always came mid month . . . and after that things became exciting once more as we started our preparations for the beginning of the school year and the meeting up with old friends we had seemingly not seen in forever. New shoes . . . a new pencil case filled with new pencils, sharp and at the ready . . . and new notebooks awaiting a new year to be penciled upon their crisp blank pages . . . and . . . if we were lucky . . . a new box of crayons, smelling of paper and wax. There was a whole year's promise held in their colour and smell . . . adventures in art just waiting to happen.
But . . . I get ahead of myself . . . there are still the dog days to get through . . . and berries to pick.
A thought to carry with you through the day . . .
“When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would not have
a single bit of talent left and could say,
I used everything you gave me."
Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . Coconut and Pecan Slices. Scrumdiddlyumptious!
Happy first day of August. I hope it's filled with lots of joy. Don't forget . . .
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And I do too!