ode to summer


IMG_9154IMG_9144last day of summer,
leaves drooping in the heat
the garden tank that’s dry (again)
nights spent hand watering
cold bathwater, dusting eggs,
spiders on the wall,
a dead snake in the yard,
and grasshoppers everywhere
(even in the toilet bowl)
you are the speedy crawls
and cheeky smiles of a baby
the fantastical stories of a small boy
sea caves in bed,
kittens asleep by the door,
sheep bleating in the paddock,
happy visits from kin –

you are the time two weeks ago
after we put the boys to bed,
my sister and I headed for the hills
(my closest neighbours, in granite and grass strewn garb)
I captured with lens
that afternoon golden light
her beautiful face in the breeze –
we feel the silk soft seeds
of nettles,
the smell – so sweet,
of a patch of red clover,
we walked the narrow trails the cows made,
over rocks decorated in lichen –
sage, lime green, slate grey, tin roof red
at the highest point up we can see out
for miles in every direction –
forest, pasture, winding road,
I come up here, I say,
to feel small,
to listen and pray
and be blown by the wind –

this last day of summer
is a mystery that comes around
every four years,
is a thin copper line on the horizon,
moths around the light bulb,
spiders spinning,
early morning light,
dry hands and heels,
wind howling at night,
the cracked earth around the dam,
chickens resting in the shade –
seven yellow squash on the table,
a bowl of tomatoes –

I don’t feel it now,
but I know we’ll miss you
once you’re gone.

fishy four

Today is our firstborn Reuben’s fourth birthday. It seems like only yesterday he was born, and now he’s no longer a babe or a toddler but a little boy – so full of questions and articulate phrases, so much storytelling, curiosity and intense feeling! Truly we are blessed to have in him a warm and caring soul, a willing helper and companion on farm and house chores, a protective big brother, an outdoor explorer and avid reader…

And so on the weekend we held a very fishy themed birthday brunch (Reu’s favourite meal) to mark his four glorious years. A dear friend of mine came to stay for the week and we set about cleaning the house, making fish and other sea creatures out of old drawings and paper scraps, seaweed garlands, balloon jellyfish and good food to eat. A “red and blue” fish cake was requested – lemon and poppyseed yoghurt cake with cream cheese and berries – it was a hit with young and old. We had starfish shapes of watermelon and grape fish “eggs”, cheese and crackers, buckwheat and kefir pancakes with jam and cream, baked sweet potato chips, cornflake + honey “shell grit” and other delicious treats. The little people bounced on the trampoline, coloured in fishy shapes and ran about the house, while the big people mingled and ate and drank cups of tea. A happy morning to befit our happy fish-loving boy!
four(his response to me asking him how old he will be, and then telling him that four was my favourite age)