Late August. The sun hastens its downward slide, and the shadows grow longer. The flower buds stand crisped on dry stalks. Here and there, children wear backpacks.
School begins next week, and the wild hurly-burly of autumn follows soon after.
Summer plans ebbed and flowed this year. We followed our own rhythms rather than highly structured travel, such as we do on even-numbered years. We watched the sky, bounced in the sea, pounded up and down the secret stairs through the woods, barbecued, made S’mores, visited an aquarium, witnessed the sunrise over the Mojave Desert, crafted, and generally took it easy.
And now, the summer holiday draws to a close. As Ralph McCloskey said in his delightful book “Time of Wonder” we feel:
“A little bit sad about the place you are leaving, a little glad about the place you are going.”
Farewell to the bleached hues, the shimmering horizons, the bulbous tomatoes, the fat corn. Farewell summer!
Sultry afternoons. The air hangs like a heavy syrup, a slow-dripping sap, from which we feel we won't escape. The long days, the heat, the humidity, all these things suspend us in the time-stretched haze we call summer.
Bluebird skies and lemony blooms draw my eyes skyward as I walk. I make my way through the honeyed atmosphere more slowly, out of necessity and also out of respect for this season. I do not adore it as so many do, and yet these moments hold me in their sway.
Arriving at a favorite overlook, I find familiar flora transformed by the heat and the light.
Turning a corner, this sight ensnared me for several minutes. The color and the light and the shade. Only summer holds sway here.
I wend my way along toward home again, and the flowers seem to smile and say, We hold winter's rain and spring's promise in every spectrum, and you are welcome here as well.
Above normal sea temperatures here have meant little cooling at night. Next month’s utility bill won’t be pretty. So I’ve sought out anything to cool down. Above, looking from Shelter Island, you can see the San Diego Bay meet the Pacific Ocean. The peninsula we call Point Loma rises to the right. On that morning, I fled over there to feel some cool Pacific fog and just gazed at the sea.
Summer tries my patience. I want to enjoy it more, but the heat saps me of energy and sometimes makes me sick. I reschedule walks to try and catch cooler moments.
When that fails, there are thankfully Popsicles!Good thing, too. They help ease the summer pain.
And when veggies are at their summer peak, you can’t go wrong with a good salad.Romaine lettuce, halved grape tomatoes, chopped red bell pepper, basil, and a cut up Babybel cheese really fit the bill on a hot day.
Hope you’re all staying cool!
July means high summer. This is the time for the berries, peppers, summer squashes.
It’s maybe not the best month for baking, but I dared. I made a lemon pound cake with some mixed berries blended in, and a layer of fresh blueberries in the middle. Topped with lemon glaze, it really hit the spot.
We headed north to darling Balboa Island, a quaint village of shops and of course the signature Balboa Bar and Frozen Banana!
Then we stopped in lovely San Clemente on the Pacific Coast Highway. This is the view from Pizza Port Brewing. There are several of them in SoCal, but this was our first time tying the San Clemente one.
Naturally, we sampled the beer and had their delicious pizzas and “garlic buddies.”
The next day of the long weekend, we headed to historic Presidio Park.It’s a beautiful space, with open park for picnics and play, and trails that go behind the structure itself.
Then on the Fourth of July we attended a neighborhood parade in the morning, and enjoyed the Big Bay Boom fireworks at night.
While the heat can build quickly, there’s a lot to love about July.
June drifted in and out, as ephemeral as the marine clouds that burn off in the summer sunshine.The sun shone above despite some June Gloom on some of the days.
Petals like fallen gold carpeted the park.
I enjoyed making sun tea, and adding hibiscus syrup to it.
And I tried a refreshing, budget friendly Rosé wine to send off the month in style.
As the calendar turns to July, I reflect on the ups and downs of this past month and steep in gratitude for time with friends, good food and drink, healing of loved ones far away, and for the beauty of it all.
Thank you, June.