The Heart of August

It’s deep in the heart of August,and shaking off the excess water from the pool, I drop to sit for a moment on the soft clover in the back lawn. Eyes closed, I could feel the leftover drops of water drying or trickling slowly down my arms and the inside of my thighs to the parched ground below.

It’s hot, but the sun is at a lower angle and has lost the intensity of just a few weeks ago.I felt my skin prickling as it began to burn though… and I liked it. Two minutes won’t kill me, I thought. Just a bit longer to let the sun warm my back.

Sitting up, I reach up to pull out the ponytail holder from my wet hair, trying not to tangle it anymore than the water already has and failing miserably. It’s so long now… the longest I’ve ever grown it.. and everything is a bit of a chore, but I secretly revel in the way it tumbles down my back. Closer to 50 than 40, I don’t intend to ever have the ‘serious’ hair convention dictates to women as they age. And the longer I live here, the more I shed the remnants of who I thought I was and discover who I really am…

Shaking my head free of thoughts, a dry cherry leaf slowly falls onto the ground beside me and Rollo instantly snaps at it, because it just might be something he can eat…. damn labs!  Instantly I am out of my silent blissful peace and back into the real world. They truly will eat anything, these labs. This time he spits it out and looks at me happily as he wags his tail, then licks my cheek and nudges his way under my arm where he settles.

I rest my head on top of his head for a moment, heart clenching in appreciation of his absolutely unselfish and uncomplicated love. It is the kind of love young children have, full of innocence and pure emotion..before they learn otherwise. No expectations other than love in return.

With a start,he looks up and starts sniffing,taking in deep drafts of air then looking again to me for reassurance as another large flock of Canada geese fly overhead, heading towards the fields near the river. They seem to be early this year, great flocks of them coming in the same direction every time,as if on approach,tracking to an airstrip only they can see.  And every time they go over, Rollo runs and watches and looks to me  inquisitively,not having seen these strange flying beasts before. ” It’s ok Rollo, just geese.”

The geese are yet another sign that signals the approach of fall…there is a certain smell that suddenly develops every year when the sun hits a certain point on its journey away from us, and I noticed it over a week ago here. Sitting out one night in the back yard, watching the setting sun, it suddenly hit me… The fruity, slightly fermented scent of blackberries,dry vegetation, and something else I can’t describe, but it elicits a visceral response in me every time, a sense of urgency as if nature whispers in my ear : ” Winters coming, get ready…”

There is no word for this feeling. It is a smell that just is, that comes accompanied by a feeling that…if you are in tune with nature, is not to be ignored. It’s time to start getting ready for fall. The beginning of the end of summer, the start of the fiery whirlwind of autumn. I looked at the bounty and beauty of my garden and smile in pride at what I created where only ugliness existed before. Last September it was a jungle of weeds and dead dying things. This year it feels like Eden. It is my sanctuary,our place of peace and fun and where all worries disappear…and I did this. My vision. My hands. My sweat…and sometimes my tears. I am this place,and this place is me… pieces of my heart and soul planted as surely as the pumpkins and sea grass. Gardens will tell you a lot about a person, revealing what the person who planted might not…

Sitting here now writing this, coming up to 10pm, the sky is clear and stars are shining. A warm wrap is around my shoulders and the candles are lit as I type steadfastly outside…not wanting to waste a moment. The scent of heliotrope is heady and sensual in the night air, mingles with the scent of beeswax and I can hear the bark of a sea lion down by the bay…

If only I could fix the world as easily as my garden. There is time again to try tomorrow…

20 thoughts on “The Heart of August

  1. Now, if Rollo would only write, what stories we would hear.

    Incidentally, when asked how I felt about giving away a chunk of my library because after, we had moved, we had no room, my answer was and remains “it’s as bad as giving away Labrador puppies”.

    Keep punching, lots of big issues need your big voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A perfect Laila Luile;
    Blend equal parts Austen, Clancy, Moss and Tolle.
    Best served in a tankard with a twist of Wilde.

    Subtle, sensual, provocative, with a touch of grit.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know that smell, that visceral feeling, that primal awareness. Its nature. We were introduced when I left the city fifteen years ago. We are close now. On intimate terms. But my senses and sensibilities register nature’s hints and nudges later as a rule. I can always smell late September. And late October is usually a bit of a face slapper. Summer just lolls and languishes like a fat lab doing not much of anything.
    Much, much, much better than Surrey, eh? Hell, much better than even a free invite at the Capilano golf and country club on a clear and not busy day. I will NEVER go back to the grey inferno that envelopes like asphyxiation. The city sucks. Keep at least a foot in the forest at all times, I say.
    Note new blog site. Up in a week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nor will I. Go back to the city. I would die. Literally. I could not do it.

      I need the sea and sun and wind and space like others need air to breathe. And I have come right back into tune with the feeling nurtured inherently by where I grew up. It is in me … and .. yikes.. it feels like a icky winter coming JDC. Get ready for it!


  4. My goodness, this post fills me with that sweet sense of pleasant melancholy/anticipation that I feel every the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. It’s really wonderful. Beautifully captured. Thank you!


  5. It strikes me that the geese and turkey vultures are preparing early. I too feel the urge to get the berries picked and the firewood in. Winter is definately coming!


  6. you are turning into a dam fine writer Laila Yuille, not the blog thing on politics, etc. but this type of writing. It evokes so many feelings.

    yes last week you could feel the summer heat had been broken. fall is coming. Your description of it all is wonderful. Moving to the Island was a really good thing for you, It is a wonderful place to live. enjoy seeing your pictures as they change at the top of the blog. I recognize them, enjoy them. Living in the Comox Valley for 15 years was wonderful and then it was time to move on and went to Nanaimo. It does have better health care and as some of us age, that becomes very important. Not having to make the drive to the ferry is easier on people also, as they age. the Valley is truly lovely, enjoy and be happy.


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