Tonight is Mid-Summer Night's Eve, a night traditionally associated with love--and time. Like yesterday's solstice, the heavenly event comes just once annually, of course, and now it's gone.
The ornamental crabs are already beginning to shed leaves, an act they pull off just so prematurely every summer in fact, always triggering mild depression.
Ancient peoples were better at reading nature's time than I am. I know of two places in the region where long lines of stones set in the soil seemingly point at the dawn on summer solstice, probably reminding Native people to consider that sometime soon they were going to have to begin to think about winter quarters. Yuck. Then again, maybe it was hot that June--under that Strawberry Moon--and the idea of cool snuggly nights held its own kind of sweet attraction.
Maybe all this 1862 stuff is getting to me. In the maelstrom of rain and wind a few nights ago, this rotted branch got snapped and hurled like some fierce war lance, stabbed into the ground like a portent in our front yard. Behind me, I swear I heard war drums.
I had just finished writing a story about the Sioux and the settlers, and I had the distinct feeling that some troubled ghost dancer was letting me know he wasn't happy with the treatment.
Maybe I've spent too much time in Minnesota in 1862--yeast for my own overeager imagination.
I pulled it out, cracked it over my knee like John Wayne would have. "Listen, cowboy, you just follow me. We're going to make it to Oregon."