Thermometer on the pumphouse wall reads 103 degrees. Sign of summer.
There are other signs. Norma went out a while ago and photographed them. Brave woman. I came in when trimming got too exciting. My tools are still on the bench, way too hot to touch. She photographed them as evidence of my indolence but it will not hold up in court because I fully intend to put them away in November.
Another sign of summer is the exultation of microscopic white blossoms on the privet over our garden gate.
Glare from this spectacle has the effect of making one dizzy and fall down onto the gravel driveway, which is so hot one immediately gets up again to repeat the whole sequence over and over. Here in California, this is called Pilates until one is rescued.
A more graphic sign is Norma's chalkboard:
She writes orders that must be translated and contemplated even in summer-induced delirium until I understand, give up or collapse. Doesn't matter to her as long as I don't blunder onto her seed beds. To deny my ability to manifest all three reactions simultaneously would be a disservice to her husband-training and, on my part, an ostentation of modesty.
Another sign is this one on the front dooryard gate that I routed into pine --now under a hundred coats of Norma's paint-- thirty years ago. The hangy-down thing is a strand of weedeater cord connected obversely to a bell capable of calling medieval Paris to Mass.
It always makes me think of Victor Hugo's hero of Notre Dame, swinging down on the bell-rope. Could Quasimodo have rescued Esmeralda on a weedeater cord? I must be heat-addled to even ask. But one wonders, because one identifies with heroes, if I was Quasimodo's brother --Semimodo maybe, or another sibling like Hemi or Demimodo-- would I persist in the singular tense of Modo? Modo is a Latin word meaning mood or fashion and its plural is Modi.
Were the Modi a musical family? After all, a hemidemisemiquaver is 1/64th of a whole note, also called a semibreve or 1/2 brief. Did Quasimodo wear briefs? I do. At that point I was overcome by the Sunshine State...or is that Florida? We really must get our border settled. That was the last thought I remember before finding myself here, indoors, writing with a cold beer in my hand.
As summer days go, this first one is pretty good. Happy Solstice!