Friday, July 24, 2009

An Enchanted Souvenir

In my part of the world, this was a day rarer than pigs in flight.
Here, the month of July is more likely to be found draping itself over our shoulders in gelatinous fashion, rendering those brave enough to venture outdoors regretful of that decision within mere moments in the gummy air. Normally, a July afternoon swills up all our vim and verve with the lazy, blank-faced greed of a pudgy uncle parked by the punch bowl at a wedding reception.
But Someone waved a wand over this July day.
One of several in a salubrious row, this day stretched out its hours like shady garden stepping stones, enticing us along with feather-fan breezes and morning air as cool as the center seed of a honeydew. It was a day when Edward wore a Prussian blue kerchief round his furry neck and was petted and hugged by strangers. A day with fruit for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A day for linen shirts and plum coloured lipstick - for checking out crisp new library books and for sitting cross-legged in green grass within a grove of pear trees, reading Longfellow aloud to Edward as he dozed beside me.
Like an enchanted souvenir of autumn, this jewel of a day was dropped into our clammy hands as we sat fever-addled by summer - we turned it over and over, feeling its coolness against our skin. We held it up to the light in admiration, marveled at our spectacular luck, and knew all the while that it could not last.
But that only made it more dear.

a bit of what Edward heard beneath the pear trees....

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;

Dust thou art, to dust returnest,

Was not spoken of the soul.

from A Psalm of Life, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow