We’ve been having more than our share of Weird Weather—so much so that those two words have become a genuine meteorological catch-phrase, worthy of capital letters. It seems especially important to note, therefore, that never before has the earth been graced with a finer June 1 than the one we’re in the midst of today here in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Bright sun, cloudless sky, slight breeze, 65 degrees.
I drove to Uptown early for a dental check-up. My route took me past the tornado-twisted trees in Wirth Park, it’s true, but that was a single ugly stretch in a long and lovely drive; the dappled light on the parkway was superb.
I chatted with the dental hygienist about our upcoming trips to the North Shore (ours in June, hers in July) and she also told me about her son’s vegetable garden. My dentist, as it happens, returned only recently from a trip to Chaco Canyon, where a friend of his is spending the summer as a volunteer.
My next stop was the Wedge, Minneapolis’s oldest and most venerable co-op. I always feel a notch or two more virtuous when I step into that place, though I can’t afford the produce, and was there mostly for the fresh figs. I also picked up some banana chips, granola, and dried black beans—to be reconstituted during our North Shore trip. It’s a two-mile hike in to the cabin we’ve rented in Tettegouche State Park. (I’m thinking bean dip with a fresh-chopped jalapeño and chips.)
Back home with work to do, I decided the day was just too fresh, and took the time to transplant a few hostas into a patch of our back yard that was laid bare by the demise of a juniper tree last fall. Yesterday we planted three six-foot arborvitaes along the fence. I’m not sure how well they’ll do—the roots seem to be caked in clay and each tree weighs a ton—but they sure were cheap!
The other day I came across a few lines in a poem called “Riffing Deciduous” by Brendan Galvin that came close to encapsulating the effect summer days eventual have on us:
Summer, old bore, though we love the ways
you reduce everything to five shades
of green, one of these days
in a fall of soft tonnage, your stranglehold
on the obvious must end…
But it’s far too early for such sentiments, on this fresh, cool, morning with the honeysuckles still in bloom.
And now, to work!