The Joys of July

Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~Henry James

Poodle playFor those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, July is the peak month of summer. Warm dawns are filled with birdsong punctuating a breathless silence, gardens  flourish with flowers and produce, evenings are balmy enough for shorts and sandals. “Lazy” is the way to spend a summer afternoon. For me, July is also filled with family birthdays, including my own, daily dabbling in the garden, and a tradition of watching the Tour de France. This year, Angel’s buddy Charlie Brown spent a week’s vacation with us, a time for exuberant play for these best friends.

There always seems time enough to watch a spider web floating in the breeze or to track winged creatures flitting through the garden – sometimes they land on my hand as if to say “Isn’t summer grand?” I often retreat from the heat of the afternoon into the cool of the house, watching cyclists at the peak of their powers race their way through the breathtaking scenery of the French countryside. Rainy days are spent at the piano, workinWine for weedingg on new pieces to the rhythm of water falling through the woods and garden and the percussion of distant thunder. Most days end with another tour de jardin, seeing what the morning’s efforts accomplished and perhaps to spend a leisurely hour pulling the odd weed while sipping a bit of cool wine.

Here’s to the joys of July, days and nights of sensory delights to hold and treasure in memory for the rest of the year. Enjoy a few scenes of the denizens of the summer garden. (click any photo below to trigger the slide show; all photos ©2014 Lynn Emberg Purse, all rights reserved)

My life, I realize suddenly, is July. Childhood is June, and old age is August, but here it is July, and my life, this year, is July inside of July. ~Rick Bass