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The full Mother's Moon is upon us and so is summer. As I talked about in my Summer Solstice post, this is the time of late nights and early mornings with long, busy, lovely days in between. I feel like I have been set on Energizer Bunny mode and there is no real end in sight. Its an exciting time, a beautiful time, and a crazy time. The Mother is showering us with gifts of fruit, sunshine, flowers and friendship. Do we see these gifts? What do we do with them? What do we do with all of them??
THE meadows slumber in the golden shine;
Full-mirrored in the river's glass serene,
Stirless, the blue sky sleeps; knee-deep in green,
Nigh o'er-content for grazing are the kine.
The russet hops hang ripening on the bine;
The birds are mute; no clouds there are between
The slumbering lands to come and the sun's sheen;
The day is drowsed with Summer's 'wildering wine.
Peace over all is writ: fought is the fight;
From Winter for the nonce the field is won
And the tired earth can slumber in the sun
And dream her summer-dreams of still increase;
Whil'st, as the long rays lengthen to the night,
The breeze o'er all the landscape murmurs 'Peace!'
- John Payne
The weather has been so lovely here in Portland these last two weeks. We've had a couple spells of mid to upper 80s broken up with cooler days. I feel like I have been either opening or closing windows constantly all month to keep the temperature reasonable in the house. I've been camping, hiking, swimming and hanging out on patios like it's going out of style, which in a way it is. Realizing that there are only two more weeks of July and then only 4 weeks of August and then it is September makes you want to run around and soak up all the sunshine and warm weather you can get. Gotta store up that vitamin D and memories of outdoor living for the inevitable gray and wet winter ahead.
The plant life in my neighborhood is showing the first signs of the summer drought. The roadside weeds are clearly no longer in the full flush of growth that they were in three weeks ago. Many grasses are three or four feet tall (and some are even taller) and beginning to ripen their seed heads, adding hints of gold and purple to the green of the medians and unmowed fields. Even the trees seem to have settled out of their sparkling spring green into a more steady summer green. The flashy spring flowers like irises and rhododendrons are past but the beautiful little field flowers are making their appearance in yellows, purples and whites.
And the roses! Portland isn't called the City of Roses for nothing. The area all along the freeway that runs right around downtown Portland is planted in a riot of pink, red and white roses that are all in bloom right now. I get a flush of civic pride every time I drive it. And of course, the rose gardens at Washington Park and Peninsula Park - as well as every grandma's front yard in the neighborhood - are in full, blossom.
Its a frantic time, these long, warm summer days. It's alright, though, to lean into that frantic energy. There will be time for rest and sleep in the shorter, cooler days of autumn yet to come. Its hard to think that summer is sliding into autumn already, but its almost impossible not to feel that way. Counting the weeks, watching the grasses turn colors or even noting that the sun is setting just a few minutes earlier each sunny evening is proof positive that Summer Solstice, while the zenith of the sun's power, is also the tipping point into the waning half of the year.
What does July look like where you are? How are you enjoying summer and the Mother's gifts that come with the long days? Is your area known for any flowers or fruit and are they in season right now? Are you noticing the waning of the year already or does it just look like go go go from your standpoint? Are you remembering your sunscreen? Happy summertime!
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Mother's Moon 2009: Gifts from the Mother
Full Mother's Moon 2010: Motherlove and Caring for the Environment