This is When

Monday Morning Musings:

Almost summer solstice. Reflections on the Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield. June 2021. ©️Merril D. Smith

This is when the world takes wing
in the turning of summer from our spring
when everything becomes lush and greenest green
the grass and leaves

sigh in gentle breeze and rustle in the storms
as cotton ball clouds flower to take new forms
and azure sky turns charcoal-hued
until another day spins by

Driftwood. The Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield. ©️Merril D. Smith,2021

another day older, children fly
out the door calling good-bye—
chicks and goslings grow so fast,
you hold the thoughts to make them last.

I saw this eastern box turtle about to crawl under the park gate. Look at her beautiful markings. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

And so, now the days grow slowly darker,
imperceptible at first, no marker
for the shadows cast, till autumn comes
and winter’s darkness cast

but in shadowed darkness the light never disappears—
despite our worries and our fears,
we make another turn round our glowing star–
do we measure it in miles or hours—the journey how far?

Seasons of love, freedom, and glory,
we celebrate each story
in the turning from spring to summer
when the world, despite everything, yet sings

in robin trill and mockingbird song
all night long, and all night long
the dreams drift from sea to shore,
where in the past our children played

and in some world, I think
perhaps still do.

Sunrise on the Delaware River

Saturday was Juneteenth. President Biden signed the law making it a federal holiday on Thursday. Fourteen Republicans voted against it. I found this post from several years ago by Henry Louis Gates on the history and relevance of Juneteenth.

Yesterday was Father’s Day. My husband Zoomed with older child as they worked on a woodworking project together. He’ll get together with younger child later this week. It was also the summer solstice, and it was a hot, but beautiful day. I got my husband this Father’s Day t-shirt to add to his collection of nerdy shirts, and we tasted two of the three red wines we still had left from my wine-tasting box. It looks like you have to click on some of the photos to see them properly.


Our anniversary is later in the week, and that’s the time of year we used to take our children to Ocean City, NJ for a summer vacation.

Listen, Hear Them

Monday Morning Afternoon Musings: 

“Hills, the trees, sunrise and sunset — the lake the moon and the stars / summer clouds — the poets have been right in these centuries… even in its astounding imperfection this earth of ours is magnificent.”—Lorraine Hansberry, quoted in Imani Perry, Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry

 

Listen

to mockingbirds,

and robins, crows, and jays

cacophony or harmony,

hear them

 

rustle

in verdant fields

rain-jeweled, and glistening,

a turtle in painted armor

stands still

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Turtle that I rescued from the middle of the street.

aware

that danger comes

rolling like thunder clouds,

flowing like an ancient river,

blue-hued,

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Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield Park

constant

the earth revolves,

frost gives way to sunshine

patriots and the times that try–

but breathe

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deeply

sigh, but feel

sun-warmth, as shadows grow

light and darkness work together

always

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Lily shadows on our shed.

listen

in verdant fields

frost gives way to sunshine

flowing like an ancient river,

always

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I was having a difficult time musing about the week of that began with beautiful sunny days and went to hot, humid, thunderstorms, a week that saw our corrupt and ineffectual leader-in-title-only continue to lie, spew venom, and become ever more authoritarian. On the plus side, I was happy to see all the coverage of Juneteenth, and nature does soothe.

Yesterday was Father’s Day. One daughter sent a book of brain-teasing puzzles to my husband, and the other delivered us dinner and beer (for my husband), which we ate while visiting with them via Zoom. I baked my husband’s favorite cookies, Welsh cookies, which are actually cooked like pancakes, not baked in the oven.

 

So, I consulted the Oracle for some inspiration and came up with this garland cinquain, except that for the last stanza I reversed the order of lines 3 and 4.

Merril’s Movie/Theater Club: We watched the movie Miss Juneteenth on Juneteenth. (available for a slight rental fee on several streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime). A debut film that has excellent performances. The story involves a Juneteenth pageant, but the theme of a parent wanting a better life for her child is universal. We also watched Ann, a one-woman play about the late former governor of Texas, Ann Richards, written and performed by Holland Taylor. It was excellent! In the U.S., you may be able to still see it on Great Performances online or possibly On Demand.