“Green was the silence, wet was the light, the month of June trembled like a butterfly” Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda is one of my favorite poets so who better to welcome one of my favorite months–June.
Named after the Roman goddess Juno, June lays before me, her wings unfurled, presenting all the exquisite beauty she has to offer.
Is there any other month as beautiful as June? The mysterious scent of lilacs on a gentle breeze calls to mind long-vanished ladies, freshly powdered and wearing gossamer dresses, parasols held in delicately gloved hands.
My childhood yard was framed by lilacs, traditional purple but one white variety. As a young child I imagined Pegasus lived under the white bush. I would sneak out of bed as quietly as a mouse so as not to wake my sisters and sit by our bedroom window which faced onto the yard. In the dark of the moon the while flowers glowed and on many a night I watched as Pegasus nibbled the sweet petals. Oh how I longed to leap onto his back and soar.
June is the month of hummingbirds darting about like jewels scattered in the garden, and dew kissed early roses scenting the dawn.
It’s a time of cool grass beneath ones feet, sky-blue dawns, and reaching for rainbows brought to life by a sprinkler’s mist. Cotton sunsuits and traveling to far off lands in the purple folds of our hammock.
June 1st was the time when my father hung the hammock between the two large oak trees in our backyard. Four eager children scrambled to be the first to ride the magic carpet.
Next to come from the basement was the slush maker. My father made the best lemon slush. Nobody liked turning the crank and complaints of burning muscles trailed behind my Dad as he went about readying the yard for our first cookout of the season. But oh boy, one bite into the tart sliver of lemon rind hidden in the sweet slush and the dreary job was forgotten.
Chairs were arranged around a metal table on the flagstone patio, wood gathered for the fireplace (nope, not a chiminea but a real brick fireplace that my father built by hand).
Burgers formed, corn steamed, lemonade sweetened, and brightly colored plastic plates, cups, and napkins awaited our guests.
Neighbors joined the feast and by the time the sun set in its rosy glory the sound of ice clinking in the tumblers of the adults as they drank highballs and other mysterious libations accompanied the laughter of children chasing fireflies.
The night always ended with my mother bringing out a bag of marshmallows. All the kids would race into the woods behind our house in search of the perfect stick. Long and sturdy.
Oh June. You are like a lover’s warm embrace.
Blessed be :}
Happy Birthday, Dyan. Mi manchi, mia amata immortale.