This Is June

June 10, 2014



“This is June, the month of grass and leaves. . . . I feel a little fluttered in my thoughts, as if I might be too late.  Each season is but an infinitesimal point.  It no sooner comes than it is gone.  It has no duration.  It simply gives a tone and hue to my thought.”
— Henry David Thoreau, from his journals







To Be Always June

June 30, 2012


Fresh garden peas

Vine-ripening strawberries

“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.”
— Lucy Maud Montgomery

What would it be like indeed — a life of strawberries and raspberries, fresh garden peas, roses, long days.  I guess I’d still choose a world with four seasons.  Perpetual summer would be just too much of a good thing.

How about you?

Leaves of a yellow buckeye tree

“This is June, the month of grass and leaves. The deciduous trees are investing the evergreens and revealing how dark they are. Already the aspens are trembling again, and a new summer is offered me. I feel a little fluttered in my thoughts, as if I might be too late. Each season is but an infinitesimal point. It no sooner comes than it is gone. It has no duration. It simply gives a tone and hue to my thought.”
— Henry David Thoreau, journal entry June 6, 1857

How fleeting the seasons are.  How fleeting life is.  I read this quote in one of the blogs I follow called Anecdotal Evidence: A Blog about the Intersection of Books and Life.  At the time Thoreau wrote this passage in his journal, he would live only long enough to see four more Junes.

I often think about death and the brevity of one’s life.  Sometimes I think about writing a “Death blog” to share my collection of quotes and poems about this final passage.  I believe that thinking about my eventual death helps me to appreciate the time I have, helps me to stay focused on living each moment more deeply.

Summer seems like an odd time to contemplate death, but as we all know, people die every day.  Every year we unwittingly pass the anniversary of our deaths — we just don’t know the date yet.  Here is a poem that reminds us of that:

For the Anniversary of My Death
by W. S. Merwin

Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveler
Like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what




A Chaos of Beauty

June 28, 2012

“What a chaos of beauty there is upon a June morning.”
— Louise Beebe Wilder, Colour in My Garden

And here are a few snapshots taken out of the chaos of color and beauty in Seattle right now:

Diaphanous pink Shirley poppy and bud

Pink Shirley poppies

White love-in-a-mist

Blue love-in-a-mist

Globes of allium


Clematis (I think?)


Foxglove and window curtains

“Summer always comes in the person of June, with a bunch of daisies on her breast and clover blossoms in her hands.”
— John Burroughs, Leaf and Tendril

Everything is coming up daisies!

A daisy in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Daisy shadows on the sidewalk

Posterized photo of daisies

I love the peachy color with reddish stripes.

Rose in my neighbor's front yard

June (from “The Poet’s Calendar”)
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Mine is the Month of Roses; yes, and mine
The Month of Marriages!  All pleasant sights
And scents, the fragrance of the blossoming vine,
The foliage of the valleys and the heights.
Mine are the longest days, the loveliest nights;
The mower’s scythe makes music to my ear;
I am the mother of all dear delights;
I am the fairest daughter of the year.

Watercolor and ink sketch of rose

Summer To-Do Lists

June 21, 2010

Embroidered and quilted mini-wall hanging for June

My Summer “To-Do” List:

  • Watch a sunset
  • Treat yourself to a cold, blended beverage at Starbucks (my favorite is a green tea frappacino)
  • Leave your footprints on a deserted beach
  • Take a color walk
  • Watch clouds
  • Walk barefoot in the grass
  • Toast weiners and marshmallows over a fire
  • Smell the flowers
  • Pick berries
  • Draw a picture
  • Write a poem
  • Send someone a postcard from the road
  • Swim under a waterfall
  • Rent a convertible
  • Smell freshly cut grass and hay
  • Walk under the stars and moon
  • Eat an ice cream cone
  • Whistle
  • Wish on the first star
  • Sing old campfire songs
  • Jump rope
  • Go to a drive-in movie
  • Rent a paddleboat or canoe

And here is a Summer action list that I came across in Nikki McClure’s Remember: A Seasonal Record.

  • Build a Bedouin tent
  • Throw a party
  • Go barefoot on a forest trail
  • Tell bad jokes all night
  • Sing songs to friends
  • Watch meteors fall
  • Make ice cream
  • Share a secret swimming spot
  • Float
  • Bike everywhere
  • Never go inside
  • Pick pick pick pick pick
  • Wash windows
  • Dry mint for winter tea
  • Swim at night naked
  • Be buried in sand

Rare as a Day in June

June 30, 2009

Pink lily

Pink lily

Flower like a yellow button

Flower like a yellow button

Circle of pansies

Circle of pansies

I’m thankful for the gifts of June — the sun’s warmth, blooming flowers, blue skies, vacation days…

“There is no price set on the lavish summer,
And June may be had by the poorest comer.

And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays:
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten…”

     — James Russell Lowell, “The Vision of Sir Launfal”

Gardens and Reading

June 16, 2009

Embroidered mini-quilt for June

Embroidered mini-quilt for June

I reread a favorite children’s classic, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  This book calls to mind the joys of gardening and the redemptive, healing qualities of working with the soil.  I am an English major, so it’s no surprise that I found more pleasure in reading this novel about a garden than actually pulling weeds in my own garden patch.

“I meant to do my work today —
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.”
     — Richard de Gallienne