In my mind, I had long since left the house, fully intending to address a long list of overdue duties. As I stepped out the door into the hazy day, the solid brick path caught my attention with its sudden profusion of weeds, creeping from every crevice. Hadn’t I pulled this patch just half a moon ago? Yet, here they had sprouted, flowered, and were already fired up to seed again by the feverish pace of the season. The plants I had pulled in a gentler time had taken months to get where these had gotten to in just weeks. Perhaps the patient Earth was eager to make up for the set-back.
In any event, this fiery finish to summer’s own schedule had interposed a project on my more deliberate plans for the day. I knew that I was looking at past summers’ seeds, going to seed themselves, a hundredfold. This was the narrative of the gardener’s life lesson; “One year’s seeding brings seven year’s weeding”; this profusion was the consequences of letting this very moment escape me a year or two ago. So, despite my own burning agenda, the steaming sun on my back, and baking bricks beneath my knees, I set down to weeding. My other work would have to wait.
Summer would have her way with me. The utter density of the humid morning air promised nothing that the burning sunrise had not already foretold. Summer’s mirage was demonstrating again how hard it is to escape the sheer weight of the atmosphere that cradles us. The air had become nothing but air; hard, and materially elemental. Too hot, and hard, to bear.
Before long, this hard heat had driven me into that other atmosphere; the one of sparkling, spontaneous, ever-branching trains of thought, ignited by chance or circumstance; where a simple stone or a momentary memory evokes a wisp of unruly imagination. This heat seemed set on distraction and could easily waft my mind away from more considered thoughts, and lead wherever such stimuli will stretch me, without purpose or direction. The daydream is, after all, a native of summer.
Between dead heat and the distraction of daydreams, summer would have had her way, had I not held my ground while weeding. To preserve my Human sense of place in Nature, I have learned not to let the outer sun be the only light that reflects; not to let the outer heat be the only warmth I feel. We also have an inner life built up of moments where we see by the light of a chosen memory, know by the warmth of an earned understanding. Inwardly, I also reflect… on the sunlight itself, as well as the heat, the weeds, their seeds, the stones at their roots. Summer, notwithstanding, was surrounding all of this.
By this other light, I could see that Heat Season was upon us again. This is the time of waxing heat and waning life, when everything flames up, shrinks toward invisibility and throws its quintessence Earthward… to seek again the soil, and there, another kinder season. Or to launch its second self Skyward… to try another fortune, maybe another moonrise, at least another chance of another life. This is the season when even the scintillating stars shoot Earthward… and Skyward, as seeds themselves, meteoric in their momentary emergence; raying outward from their own Invisible Center, and streaking toward the Invisible Expanse. Their brief and glorious visibility points both backward and forward to a world unseen, but knowable; A world whose atmosphere is akin to thought, whose heat is as wholesome as the heart; where the meteors themselves hold more than the mere metal they are made of.
The Heat Season, the Seed Season, the Season of Shooting Stars, the Ending of Summer, was here. And the hard, untempered heat would have its way for a while, only to give its golden gift of seed and star… and be gone.
This was where my weeding went, as my bucket overflowed.