“I remember my childhood names for grasses and secret flowers. I remember where a toad may live and what time the birds awaken in the summer — and what trees and seasons smelled like — how people looked and walked and smelled even. The memory of odors is very rich.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden
As a child, I couldn’t wait for summer vacation. I would race home, change into my shorts and out of my school clothes to play for 10 weeks. And play we did. Never knowing time of day until the street lights came on. And not knowing the date until the school supplies had to be bought. Then I knew summer would soon be over.
But I never really watched the sunrise or set. I never knew about the start of summer on the solstice. These were foreign to me and uninteresting until middle age. When I began to garden and pay attention to the seasons, then I marked this sacred day. The longest day of the year is special as the sun shines longer and higher. And I bask in it now. Letting the warmth seep into every pore.
And as a veggie gardener, summer has even more meaning as we need the hot temps to grow so many veggies…so many are my favorites like tomatoes, peppers and squashes….not to mention okra and eggplant.
Many ancient civilizations have celebrated the summer solstice ringing in a joyful time….one of luck and abundance. The solstice is a perfect time to be outside (weather permitting) watching the sun reach its zenith at noon. For me the solstice will be a time of reflecting on what I am renewing, changing and celebrating. Like a seed just planted this spring, I will be growing through the warmth of the summer ready to harvest whatever grows in the autumn.
“Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.” ~Patrick Süskind
One of my favorite memories of summer are the smells….they evoke some of my strongest and most vivid summer memories.
“For many people the scent of certain plants can revive memories with a vividness that nothing else can equal, for the sense of smell can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back pictures as sharp as photographs of scenes that and left the conscious mind.” ~Thalassa Cruso
These lilies remind me of summer bouquets in church on those barely cool Sunday mornings as the hymns raised up and the bees buzzed lazily.
“Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains…” ~Diane Ackerman
The scent of rain on the summer wind hanging hot in the air waiting for the rain to cool things off even for a moment.
“The gardens of my youth were fragrant gardens and it is their sweetness rather than their patterns of their furnishings that I now most clearly recall.” ~Louise Beebe Wilder
My mom planted petunias every summer. I adored their scent and colors. They bring back memories of sitting on the front porch and eating homemade popsicles.
“Scents bring memories, and many memories bring nostalgic pleasure. We would be wise to plan for this when we plant a garden.” ~Thalassa Cruso
When my parents planted their veg garden, I remember going out and tending the plants, picking the beans or pulling the carrots and smelling their sweet, earthy scent.
“My life is like the summer rose That opens to the morning sky, But ere the shades of evening close Is scattered on the ground – to die.” ~Richard Henry Wilde
My parents always grew roses. There is nothing like the scent of roses hanging in the summer air on a dewy morning.
“Of all the ingredients we employ in the creation of a garden, scent is probably the most potent and the least understood. Its effects can be either direct and immediate, drowning our senses in a surge of sugary vapor, or they can be subtle and delayed, slowly wafting into our consciousness, stirring our emotions and coloring our thoughts.” ~Stephen Lacey
Geraniums were also a staple in my mom’s pots, and I plant them just to catch the scent of the blooms and leaves.
My summer mantra:
As a teacher, I usually worked every summer. And again as a school administrator since we did not have summers off. In fact they were the busiest weeks of the year for me with little time for gardening. But I always dreamed of resting and enjoying my summer especially in my garden. So this summer in my garden, I plan to do a bit of work, relax, observe, catalogue, and just be in nature.
“I want to go soon and live away by the pond where I shall hear only the wind whispering among the reeds. It will be a success if I shall have left myself behind, but my friends ask what will I do when I get there! Will it not be employment enough to watch the progress of the seasons?”
– Henry David Thoreau, from Winter: The Writings of henry David Thoreau
So as the summer solstice approaches, join in and tell us how you celebrate your summer or summer memories? Of course in the Southern hemisphere, we want to hear about your winter celebrations.
Seasonal Celebrations is a time for marking the change of seasons and what is happening in your part of the world during this time. I hope you will join in by creating a post telling us how you celebrate this time of year whether summer or winter or something else. Share your traditions, holidays and celebrations in pictures and words.
And it seems so appropriate to collaborate with Beth and her Lessons Learned meme. What lessons have you learned this past season of summer here in the North and winter in the South. Then tell us about your wishes, desires and dreams for this new season.
The rules are simple. Just create a post that talks about lessons learned and/or seasonal celebrations. If you are joining in for both memes please leave a comment on both our blog posts. Or if you are choosing to join only one meme, leave a comment on that blog post. Make sure to include a link with your comment.
Beth and I will do a summary post of our respective memes on the solstice (around the 21st of June). And we will keep those posts linked on a page on our blog. Your post should be linked in the weekend before the solstice to give us enough time to include your post in our summary. And if you link in a bit late, never fear we will include it on the special blog page (which I still have to create). The badges here can be used in your post. So won’t you join in the celebration!!
Next up on the blog: Next Monday I will have my May Garden Review although it will be a bit shortened as I only had time to review half of May since I have been laid up.
I can also be found blogging once a month at Vision and Verb. Next post is June 3rd.
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