July is tempestuous. July is bold. July is hot. It begins with the slow staining of the blue summer skies. A hint of dirty blue, daubs of smoky blue deepening and darkening till suddenly the world feels like a place bereft of light, haunted by its own moodiness. The wind picks up, rushing through the thick cover of trees. Leaves and lightweight objects fly thick in the whirling winds. The cherry tomato plant, now about 5″ tall, waves its fuzzy-haired slender branches wildly, releasing a sweet, grassy fragrance that lingers on the fingers, long after I have secured the dancing branches to the stake to prevent them from flopping over.
With some fury, hail comes calling. It is pelting mad. Takes me back to a winter’s noon of being caught dab in the middle of a hailstorm in sweet old Bremen and securing comfort within the portals of a plush old café there, a big slab of kuchen and kaffee for company.
July for me has started with thunderstorms and my husband’s birthday. Both beloved and replete with loveliness. The first day of the month itself, I nipped out to the stores for ingredients essential to the feast I had conjured up in the mind. By the time I was ready with my totes filled with fruits, cream, and bottles of bubbly, my heart was quailing and rejoicing in equal measures at the sight of the wall of rain. I was caught in the middle of a flamboyant storm. Purple streaks of lightning followed by thunderous crashes. A flimsy brolly to carry me through this till I reached the cab that ferried me home.
Then a whole afternoon of cooking and baking, till I had half of what I wanted to put out on the table. Visibly overwhelmed, birthday boy exclaimed, “But it is just our two tummies that has got to tuck it all in. We have the entire month.” Clever hints. Nonetheless, the spread was truly enough. Soon we found that we could not plough through half of it without feeling comatose. The sparkling blackberry-laced cocktails helped the cause and we decided to dance off the rest of the evening. It was a strangely lovely birthday.
I have no idea why, but I have been unable to blog. Words have been spare in my head. I am not trying to say that we have been particularly troubled by this whole business of confinement. To be honest, we have discovered good old-fashioned fun in each other’s company. Adi has taken to running and we have been pounding the pavement rather religiously, winding it off with encounters with a big oaf, a malamute who loves to talk and lean on us. There are always sights for those who are keen to see. We have watched girls and boys, freshly graduated, stream through the park in cars, girls standing tall through sunroofs in tulle dresses, proudly swaying, others skulking inside stretch limos.
On quieter days, we have stood in the wetlands behind our home, where near the tall prairie grasses, egrets and herons come to fish. The gentle wading and poise of the white egret, the prowling of the yellow-crowned night heron with its comical, tufted head, that of the squatter and significantly hunchbacked black-crowned night heron. Nature is entrancing and she continues to soothe our souls.