Bitter & Blue


It feels blasphemous to say it, but the summer is more than half over, and speeding along at a rate far too fast for my comfort. Let’s stretch it out a bit, slow it down. At times like this, I think back to childhood, to the days when summer seemed to last forever. The beginning of August, before things got too ripe, before the zucchinis were too plump with seeds, held the aspect of endlessness. The roads stretched further then, and they were lined with wild blue chicory and Queen Ann’s lace, neither of which flinched at the heat off the pavement.

Bees and butterflies visited the umbrels of the lace-like blooms, and cicadas screeched into the midday warmth. Only the occasional passing car broke the insects’ spell, but they always resumed their buzzing. It was better when those were the concerns of the day, when the only threat was an encroaching storm-front – and even that held the possibility of toothpick races in the rain, of puddle-jumping and salamander-seeking. The best parts of boyhood might very well take place in the summer.

Every now and then I’ll pass a patch of chicory and Queen Ann’s lace, pausing in the summer sun, and remembering a time when summer was the destination. It seems we’ve arrived again. Let’s make it last.

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