Last evening summer arrived in my heart. Oh yes, we've had numerous lovely days thus far -- warm, blue skied days; grey, rainy ones; magnificent late-in-the-evening sunsets. But it was last evening when the feeling of summer truly arrived in my heart. And, with it came this yearning on the inside to celebrate in some way...
TO pay homage to golden light streaming through the window lighting up my desk.
TO catch that dewy mix of earth, leaves and moisture wafting on the breeze.
TO let myself feel mesmerized when the lace curtains billow: poof in--poof out, poof in--poof out, poof in--poof out.
TO breathe in the aroma of grass in the neighbour's yard, newly cut.
TO find a favourite passage -- some lines of poetry or scene from a favourite book that echoes the summery feeling with me. Any of the Anne books by L.M. Montgomery would certainly do.
LINES OF SUMMER POETRY
A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining,
the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.
~ James Dent
* * * * *
There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.
~ Celia Thaxter
* * * * *
One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.
~ Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle
* * * * *
Rest is not idleness,
and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day,
listening to the murmur of water,
or watching the clouds float across the blue sky,
is by no means waste of time.
~ John Lubbock, "Recreation," The Use of Life, 1894
* * * * *
It was June, and the world smelled of roses.
The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.
~ Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib, 1941
* * * * *
Summer afternoon—summer afternoon;
to me those have always been the two most beautiful words
in the English language.
~ Henry James
* * * * *
The luxury of all summer's sweet sensation
is to be found when one lies at length in the warm, fragrant grass,
soaked with sunshine, aware of regions of blossoming clover
and of a high heaven filled with the hum of innumerous bees.
~ Harriet E. Prescott, The Atlantic Monthly, August 1865
* * * * *
Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes,
and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.
A few of those days and you can become drunk
with the belief that all’s right with the world.
~ Ada Louise Huxtable
CLASSIC SUMMER READS
Foxgloves and Hedgehog Days, Secrets in a Country Garden, by Daniel Blajan. This is a non-fiction book that many years ago when we'd have company, I would read a chapter or two after coffee and dessert. It created such a mellow, languid feeling for reader and listener both as we heard about the author's garden adventures. Perfect for long summer evenings.
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle (book and film series). I love the June, July, August section. Where you feel the heat radiating from the hills of Provence, where Le Poolman comes to clean Le Pool. And Peter and Annie's courtyard is constantly filled with aromas of Italian cooking, laughter, wine glasses clinking ...
Anne of Avonlea, L.M. Montgomery. Lots of lovely summery scenes in this second book of the Anne series.
Pilgrim's Inn, by Elizabeth Goudge. Story set in England's Hampshire coast. A family finds an enchanting old inn that changes their lives.
Voices in Summer, by Rosamunde Pilcher. Enjoy the long summer days on the coast of Cornwall, England along with Laura Haverstock, a young woman and newlywed, who stays with her husband's uncle and aunt in an old Elizabethan manor while she convalesces.
An Island Garden, by Celia Thaxter. A charming book first published in 1894 written by the author about her garden on Appledore, USA.
Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, by Edith Holden. The entries Miss Holden made during the Spring and Summer months are delightful to read and examine during this time of year.
Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh. There's a scene in the movie based on this book where the two young friends (played by Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews) take a drive from Oxford out into the English countryside. They stop along the side of the road, sit under a big old oak tree and eat fresh strawberries and some special wine. The scene whenever I see it makes me homesick for something. It's summer as it should be in that brief moment of time.
Summer by Susan Branch. Great seasonal recipes, whimsical artwork, poetry, and favourite stories by a favourite author and watercolourist.
Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham. For people who like messing about in a boat on the river or picking berries in the hedgerows or sharing tea and scones with special friends, this makes a great summer read.
Three Men In A Boat, by Jerome K. Jerome. Not in the pile of books in the photo, but how can I leave this one out? This book describes a 'comic expedition up the Thames to Oxford'. I first read it years ago and it's just as humorous any time I read it. It's even more entertaining when you share the story by reading it aloud to someone.
You can probably tell I'm getting ready for our trip to England, most of the books I've got in that list above are related to that lovely country in some way. Yup, I'm dreaming English air ... pretty soon hubby and I will be breathing it. Not to mention eating crumpets, drinking tea with the Queen (wink), visiting gardens famous and not so famous, and sharing photos here whenever possible. A few weeks to go ...
And now, it's time to slip away ... just as the summer afternoon slipped away like those huge fluffy clouds floating with purpose past my window way up in the blue sky.
Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places,