Lazy Summer Days
by Lynda McKinney Lambert
August days bring memories.
I love August days in western Pennsylvania because the temperature begins to drop down in the evenings. Typically, by the second week of August the nights become cooler. Instead of the steamy days and smoldering nights of sizzling hot July, we get a welcome feeling of relief when the night temperature drops down into the 50s.
We leave our windows open to let the breeze sweep through the house and cleanse it from the humidity and stuffiness of July.
It is refreshing to lie in bed at night, listen to the myriad of insect sounds tuning up and playing their individual night songs. Nature’s sounds come in layers from every direction.
Catch the beat of a night bird;
wild geese flying in the dark;
insects too numerous to even imagine.
We live by the creek and we can hear people laughing from down below the ridge, as they go fishing or just relax and enjoy the flowing water. Some people arrive in the late evening and descend down the steep bank where they find a nice big rock to sit on. They will be at the water’s edge all night long. In the early morning light, they will come back up the hill, load their fishing gear into their cars and leave for home. I always think they must feel so relaxed after spending the night along the creek banks doing something they love to do.
I understand the reason why this is a theme in so many country songs: fishing along the river at night, drinking a cold beer, and making love to your sweetheart.
My father was an avid fisherman. On August evenings at twilight, I helped him find earth worms. He wore his miner’s helmet with a light on the front of the helmet. The eerie yellow-light sizzled and sputtered as we poured mustard water down the holes, into the earth worm’s tunnels. It was only a few seconds until a slimey mustard covered worm came to the surface seeking fresh air. I grabbed the sticky worms and put them into Dad’s metal pail with the holes all around the sides. Dad and I turned over rocks and found creepy things there that were used for Dad’s fishing expedition, too. Dad called them helgrimites.
~ I am thinking today about how much I love August ~
It is always the same memories that flood back over me every August as I walk through the woods, across the meadow, along the ridge, and down the path to cross the creek.
~ Queen Ann Lace and Chicory ~
I love it most of all when Queen Ann’s Lace mingles with the periwinkle blue flowers of Chicory. Both wild flowers grow together along all the roads in Western Pennsylvania in early August.
I took my camera outside so I could capture the beauty of these wild flowers and remember them after they have gone for the winter.
Queen Ann’s Lace is my favorite wildflower.
I think it is because of the delicate flowers that are clustered on the thin light green stems and the way they seem to float in space and ride the soft wafts of the breeze as they sway back and forth. They seem to be dancing on the air. The chicory flowers are studier, almost like a daisy, with petals branching outward from a round, dark, center. Each little petal comes to a squared off point, looking like a saw tooth edge at the tip, and the color of the Chicory flowers seem to pop out from among the white Queen Ann’s Lace blossoms.
I selected this poem because it fits the season.
“Two Friends on a Bench,” in Austria during the summer of 1998.
That particular summer day, I walked along the sidewalk that meanders along the banks of the Salzach River in Salzburg, I saw an older couple sitting quietly on the well worn wooden bench. They faced the river. They were so engaged in their own private conversation that they paid no attention to anyone else.
I sat in the grass behind them, and I took out my sketchbook.
Lynda’s pencil sketch of two friends who sat on the bench.
Later, I penned this poem from the memories of the day and the image I sketched.
Travel journals are a source of creative inspiration.
I read them long after I have returned home and I begin to write about a particular day, place, or moment in my life.
Here’s my TIP for YOU!
Make it a HABIT – take a journal or sketchbook when you travel.
You will find so many little moments you may want to record and then you can go back to your book later on and begin to create a poem or write an essay about this day.
Assignment for the Sizzling Summer Super Book Launch Party on Facebook.
Find a photo of something that is interesting to you. Or think about an experience you had.
Write a brief paragraph about what you see or feel as you look at that photo.
You can turn your paragraph in to a little poem.
Don’t worry about rhyming or forms.
Just express how this photo or experience feels to you as you think about it.
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“Two Friends on a Bench”
Two friends on a bench
Comfort each other
A scratch of the head A nod,
touch of the arm
A gesture of the hand, a look
The afternoon passes
two pidgins fly under the bench
Old friends never notice
the people walking by
they only see each other
From a hidden tree branch
a bird begins to sing
a love song to them.
Blog: Copyright 2014.
Revised: July 31, 2019.
Poem: Copyright, 1998; 2014; 2019.
Lynda McKinney . Lambert. All Rights Reserved.
Poem was written in Salzburg, Austria, July 1998
This poem is published in Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage, Kota Press, 2002.