Walking up from the garden the wild daisies will shout your name. You will pause on a mown path among waist high wild grass, and stare and the small white flowers that reach up and up on slender branching stalks like little stars, and you will wonder how you never noticed them before. You will stand there in the summer heat and wonder how it became summer at all. The heat will lick at your skin, the thermometer registering 96 degrees, the sky hazy and bare save for distant thunderheads that trundle up against the edges of the horizon, white and pale pink with early evening.
It will be past eight. Crickets will be chirring in the grass, and below you in the neighbor’s pond a bullfrog will sing its tuba song. You will stand there looking at the way everything has gone right on living without your attention. The evidence of summer’s fecundity is everywhere: wild grapes are taking over the apple tree, blackberry brambles crowd the path; and each year the wildflower meadow presses more urgently against the deer netting you’ve staked up to claim a small plot of soil as your own for cucumbers and tomatoes.
You’ll stand there looking and looking as though you’re starving for this very thing: these daisies and wild asters, this tangle of grass, these swallows swooping low. And maybe you will realize that you have become homesick for this very thing: for summer, the way summer is, and for you in it.
And though there are things that you must do: screens to sit in front of, dishes to be washed; you’ll pull on a swimsuit instead, take a dark blue towel and walk barefoot down the gravel drive, along the dusty road and up the hill. There will be a fence, but the gate will be open and you’ll slip through onto the neighbor’s land and then down toward the small spring fed pond.
The path will be newly cut. The grass will cling between your toes. The quiet will be full of sound: sheep, frogs, the trilling of evening birds, the hum of mosquitoes.
As you walk you might hear a screen door slam. Lights will glow yellow in the windows of houses, and when you arrive at the pond the water will be black.
You will slip in, hands parting the water.
Maybe you will float on your back and watch the way the inverted world becomes a bowl. You’ll exhale in a way you’ve forgotten, with your whole lungs until your body begins to sink and then you’ll take another deep deep breath.
Maybe you will move as silently as you can from bank to bank, your eyes just above the surface, the sky rippling as you move through it.
Maybe you will float until your body finds its balance. Until you can lie perfectly still, suspended, your back a beautiful curve, arms above your head, feet falling down to where the water’s colder.
Above you the sky will turn to rose and then violet. Bats will cross the heavens. Frogs will call in a sing song back and forth across the pond. And finally without really meaning to, your eyes will find the first star of the evening, right there above you.
Eventually, you’ll climb out, pond water falling from your thighs and hair like tiny gems. The air will still be warm, but your skin will be cool and damp as you walk up the path. Maybe you will be inclined to run, like a child again. Maybe you'll laugh, as your feet twirl, your arms spread wide, your hear lifting off the nape of your neck like dark ribbons.
Maybe fireflies will mark path back home at the edges of the road. Maybe the air will be sweet with the fragrance of honeysuckle as you come up the drive.