Summer Ephemera

clematis in the morning
I am slowly preparing my heart and mind for next week's Living Education Retreat.  This brings joy.  There has been much of that around here lately - luminous newlyweds, healthy relatives, blooming things.  Here is a poem for summer that I love and I hope you take the time to savor it.


 by Barbara Crooker

For who has despised the day of small things? 

--Zechariah 4:10

It's just a day when dusty sycamore leaves

flash silver as they scull in the wind,
when high clouds journey across the sky, 
huge white blossoms going to seed.
It's summer, and the world exhales its green breath.
For once, the humidity machine's been shut off, 
and the air feels like a lover's caress.
My grouchy white cat stalks through the high grass,
twines once around my legs, then sits nearby, 
as close as he's ever going to get. A spider 
casts her filaments on a frond of Russian sage, 
finches go to work on the sunflower heads, 
nodding and bobbing. In the meadow, the traffic of ants and bees . . . .

The sun, no longer last week's red hot griddle,

casts us in a bronzy light, turns the air to syrup. 
I neither want to be here, nor there. The afternoon 
grows radiant around the edges. Dinner on the porch, 
a thick steak, matchstick asparagus, many-grained bread. 
A wedge of chocolate cake, cut in two, a handful 
of raspberries. Arid, in the twilight, swallows scissor 
the air over the orchard, cutting scraps in the cloth of light,
as we sip the last few mouthfuls of wine, 
the small pleasures of the night, the amplitude of the day.

stella de oro daylilies

From joy to joy,



  1. Oh, Nancy. Two children married. And what beautiful brides for those your handsome boys. I don't have the pleasure to know them, but I know their mom, and I know they are more than just handsome in the outside.

    Thanks for sharing, lovely, as always.

  2. :) i have had this wonderful breath of summer lately too... ah. the small things.

  3. Love that verse from Zechariah. We've got our oldest two getting married in the next six months - very exciting; so lovely to see your photos.

  4. That poem has some beautiful imagery, and that dinner description on the porch sounds lovely, esp the chocolate cake with raspberries. :)
    Congratulations on another family wedding and your photos are lovely, esp that tent. Well done!
    Thanks for sharing these beautiful words and images with us.