Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Beautiful summer


A hallelujah of hydrangeas! Every morning when I drive down to the cul de sac with it's tiny parking lot for the conservation area where I like to walk, I pass larger and larger houses with more and more elaborately landscaped lawns. After psssing between beautiful weathered rail fences entwined with pink roses at their glory of abundance, I come to this and its neighboring hydrangeas. My senses are almost stunned. I park nosing the car at the tall, thick privet that gives privacy to the house beyond. The sharp, prickly scent of the privet flowers is just beginning. If I were a swooner I would faint flat out on my back at all this sensory overload coupled with the perfect blue sky. But I'm a walker so I go down to the beach, take off my sandals and walk barefoot beside the surf and smell the scent of rotting bits of crustacean emanating from the piles of their shells along the beach. At the far end I put my sandals back on to walk through the rocks and then turn the corner and follow the narrow path through the salt marsh and it's unseen nests of baby plovers protected by their screaming, circling parents.

Yesterday I saw the swan, the first one I've seen in this particular place although I know some live on a nearby pond. [If you click on the photo it will enlarge and you can see him]. He was moving along at a very good clip looking utterly serene as swans do, of course, but I assumed his big black feet were churning rapidly. He had the advantages of both the ebb tide and the outflow of the creek. Perhaps incongruously I thought of an article I had just read in the morning paper about John Updike's papers, now in a library at Harvard. He managed a private life that appeared to be as serene as the swan's passage, no scandals, no macho flamboyance. He worked hard and regularly and produced a very fine output of novels, criticism, poetry and other work. He acknowledged that he had much help from the editors at the New Yorker throughout his career. He was, like that swan in so many ways, enviable and a treasure for those of us who came upon his work, as the vision of the swan was another joy for me that morning.

3 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June, I felt like I was walking with you -- your descriptive writing is engaging -- barbara

Conda V. Douglas said...

At long last, we're having a summer here...yours reads beautifully.

Kass said...

John Updike's private life and the passage of the swan - nice juxtapose.