I awaken before sunrise, first light seeping over the lake in pale yellows and paler pinks, and soft pastel blues. I slip into my kayak for a short paddle around the island before anyone else is awake, before the harsh noise of the day invades this quiet time. I am the only ripple in the mirror still water, not even the slightest hint of a breeze stirs in the cool morning. The sky reflects on the lake, in the distance it is hard to discern one from the other. This is the time of day when it is easy to be one with the universe and all its creations, to feel the vibrant energy of the omnipresent life force around you, this is the time of day when you can hear God’s casual reply, see and understand how life hangs in the balance of the wing beats of a great blue heron taking flight and the call of a king fisher as he swoops and dives.
Yay, another rainy morning. Get up, apply bug repellent (the mosquitoes love this wet summer and are doing very well for themselves), go down the hill and do my morning yoga routine on the porch before starting work. We put onto the river in a downpour, everyone too excited to be on a whitewater rafting trip to let the rain dampen their spirits. By the time we get down the Indian River to the Hudson, the rain has stopped, by lunch, the clouds are braking up, and the float out is wonderful! Summer sun warming my skin. I can feel the serotonin level rise in my brain. Deep breath in, exhale, relax. These sunshine river days are what I live for!
One of my summer passions is hula-hooping, although I am a boring hula-hooper because I have only a few rudimentary tricks I can do. I have seen some mind blowing amazing hula-hooping action from some of my friends, but I seem to lack that kind of coordination. I like hooping to live music, dancing around in circles, hips swaying to keep the giant hoop spinning. The hula hoop makes me feel open and free, like I could fly away into those endless summer nights where laughter chases through your sweet dreams, and fireflies sparkle in your eyes. One of the rafting companies up here has a summer solstice party every year that I look forward to with the greatest anticipation. This year (as always) was worth the wait! Live music, scrumptious food, all my old rafting friends to talk to and tell stories with, and lots of new guides to meet and welcome to the lifestyle. I hula-hooped half the night, bare feet stained green from the grass, daisy print dress swirling around my knees, glow sticks swinging on my wrists. We danced, we sang, we laughed. I LOVE SUMMER!!!! Happy Solstice!
On a warm summer evening, as the blue dusk of almost dark slowly deepens into the purple of completely dark, twilight in the west and twinkling stars above in the endless velvet night sky. I take a walk down the road, across the bridge to the overgrown field. Wearing long pants and sleeves to discourage mosquitoes, I stand on the edge of the road, gazing across the tall grasses, mesmerized. Thousands of tiny green yellow lights flashing near and far! Silent magical woodland fairies calling to each other in a language of light. I could watch for hours! Crickets humming, the creek gurgling, a calm breeze gently stirring the green plants, a distant dog barks twice, and fireflies everywhere with their glowing pixie lights. I am immersed in the effervescence, the bio luminescent glow, the magic of firefly light. Surrounded by these tiny flashing insects makes me feel connected and alive!
One of my favorite summer pastimes is to take an inner-tube down to the creek. Usually I float, read, and sunbath, then dip in the water and go home when the sun sinks low in the sky. This time, for my first inner-tube experience of the summer, I decided to float down stream from the far bridge to the near bridge. We have had much rain this season and the creek seems high enough to float a tube down. I walk the half mile up the road and get in the water. There are many shallow areas where I have to scoot along with my feet, and only a couple of areas where I needed to actually stand up and walk a few feet to a deeper section. The rapids were fun! I had to sit high on the tube so as not to bump my bum on the rocks. The tube bounced down through the waves, would hit rocks and spin and only threatened to overturn twice. What a wonderful carefree and laughing way to welcome the return of summer!
One of my favorite meals is corned beef and cabbage. Every year after St. Patrick’s Day, we buy several packages of corned beef when it goes on sale and freeze them. So later in the year, when I have a hankering for it, my husband will make the meal that makes the whole house smell like spicy boiled meat and vegetables. It’s a warm, comforting smell, that makes me feel safe and loved. It takes hours as it slowly cooks, the anticipation is half the fun. Then, finally, when dinner time has arrived, the red, stringy, marbled meat is cut into slices and piled on my plate with oily limp cabbage wedges, soft orange carrots chunks, dripping slimy onion halves, and earthy mushy potatoes. It all melts in my mouth and I can never get enough of the peppery spice of this hearty beef.
One of my favorite (usually) morning meals is something I never heard of until I was dating the man I eventually married. Matzo Brei is matzo crackers dipped in cold water, broken into bite size pieces and cooked into scrambled eggs. Its and after Passover meal to use up the leftover matzo. Traditionally, people put sweet stuff on it like jelly, but I like with hot sauce! As Passover approaches, matzo goes on sale, and eventually a case of it comes home. I start asking for Matzo Brei. Maybe it’s because I love scrambled eggs, or maybe it’s because I love my husband’s cooking, or because we have fun morning time together cooking and eating it, or maybe it has become a spring tradition for me. When Matzo Brei shows up it means winter is almost over and everything will be green and sunny and warm again soon. Whatever the case, serve it up, and eat it with joy!