Blackberry winter came to the Deep South last week. Blackberry winter is a phrase used mostly in the South which describes a short time period of cold weather - a cold snap, if you will - just as the blackberries are blooming, generally in May. I would swear it was the coolest temperatures I can recall this late into spring in all my thirty-plus years in Atlanta,. Who wears sweaters and jackets in the middle of May in Georgia, for Pete's sake? But what a difference one day makes! We went from 60 degree highs to the high 80's in the span of less than 24 hours and by the weekend, we hit the 90's. It is often said that if you don't like the weather in Atlanta, wait 20 minutes. It can change that quickly, but I think we have seen the last of the really cooler weather till the fall.
the loveliness of June in one of my very first blog entries. I find it amazing that almost a year has come and gone since that early post and June is upon us once more. I am as enamored with the thought of the rich green of June as much as I was last year at this time. June and I have a long-standing romantic relationship, never to be ended, I hope. The pleasures of June are as varied as any month, some so openly blatant and impossible to miss, others subtle and less obvious so that one has to remember to seek them as one would hidden treasure. Maybe a better analogy is like looking at a hidden object picture puzzle - the objects are scattered among a trove of miscellaneous items and they tend to blend in with all the rest. That is, until you find some specific item you have been searching for and you ponder how you could have missed it for so long. Such is the nature of June.
The fast approaching encroachment of June on the calendar has caught me quite somewhat off guard this year, due partially, I suspect, to Blackberry winter, until just this weekend. I was coming out of my garage after the sunset and the evening still had the warmth of the day in it but was easing into the coolness of the night air. In that moment, I was hit with the most glorious, completely seductive perfume of jasmine.
A couple of years ago, Ed and I planted a very small jasmine plant on the side of the house. It was a plant that I had always desired to have. A low-growing juniper bush, part of the original landscaping of the house, had died, and when Ed dug it up, there was a rather ugly, forlorn-looking, empty space at the foundation between the two bedroom windows. I remember thinking when we unpotted the jasmine, placing it into the hole previously occupied by the juniper, how tiny it looked in comparison with the other shrubs, emphasized even more so by the large metal trellis we secured into the ground at the base of the vine to take advantage of the jasmine's proclivity to entwine and fill in. Much to my amazement, the little jasmine thrived and is now so robust that it requires cutting back to keep it in check, a chore I have yet to do this spring. It is something that has just slipped my mind and thankfully so.
Summer, for me, has begun.
Bend low again, night of summer stars.
So near you are, sky of summer stars,
So near, a long-arm man can pick off stars,
Pick off what he wants in the sky bowl,
So near you are, summer stars,
So near, strumming, strumming,
So lazy and hum-strumming. ~ Carl Sandburg