CHASING DOWN THE MUSE:Lingering over summer highlights

Summertime, summertime





On this late summer morning, I rise early. The full moon crosses the dark western sky toward the ocean’s horizon line. Summer is nearing its close "” it’s setting as well. My mind idles for these few moments in review of the 2007 summer highlights. Summer has passed so quickly and there is a longing in me to linger over the special moments.

At the top of my list of summer highlights would have to be what occurred on a recent sultry morning when, hearing a strange sound in the living room, I investigated. In a high window, a small Rufous hummingbird not even three inches long was batting wings against the glass, trying to get out.

First getting a stool upon which to stand, I reached up my left hand. As my fingers went around between the young hummer and the glass, his motion stilled. It was as if we were both holding our breath in that brief moment as he allowed my still open hand to scoop around him. With the hummingbird resting motionless on my semi-open palm, I stepped down and walked to the front door and out onto the deck.

Opening my hand fully, I expected immediate flight, but the small bird just sat there. I marveled at the wonderful opportunity to really look at the beautiful colors of his tiny feathers, at the bright light of life in his itsy eyes, and the overall delicacy of his being. This was surely a very special moment. It was broken when the hummingbird launched itself at last and with a whirring of his wings headed for the nearby elm tree.


I was pleasantly surprised the following morning as I sat eating breakfast on the deck to see what appeared to be this same new friend sitting near on a branch of that same elm tree. I now watch closely for him each day and softly greet him when I spot him going about his busy life in the yard.

Another and equally surprising highlight in its own way took place on one of my morning walks along Heisler Park. I was heading south toward the flagpole when three deeply tanned young boys ran toward me ahead of their parents. Barefoot and dressed in their swim trunks, they were carrying towels in their arms as they ran, echoing the ooowa ooowa of the gulls overhead. Their wild abandon was contagious as they ran along on this early morning, still “free" for their summer vacation time in Laguna. I carried their wild and joy-filled sounds with me in my head all through that warm day.

And on my summertime birthday, to hear the sweet voice of my 2 grandson on the phone: “Hello, Gramma

Happy birthday to you. I love you." And, after a long pause, the unrehearsed, “Can I come to your birthday party?" This last brought tears of joy to my eyes as my throat swelled. How could this be counted as anything less than a highlight?

Working at the Sawdust Art Festival here in town always gives me the pleasure of spending time with both new and old friends. The relationships made there have through the years provided strong and lasting sustenance and, often, just good plain fun. And, missing my own grandchildren so, the borrowed pleasure of a few moments with the many small children who pass by each day brings me joy.

Gentle smiles? The occasional soft touch of small hands? Soft twilight hours filled with laughter? Dark morning hours of silence? The call of a hawk or the hoot of an owl? The caring concern of a friend? What is it that I will take away with me from this time "” from these long summer days and cool nights; from another season of banes and blessings?

As I wrap up my morning’s writing I see the moon has now disappeared in the west and to the east light begins to seep into the sky, creating the luscious blue of dawn. There are still a few days left of summer in which to gather remembrances. And, as Hal Borland says, “Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night."