Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Phlox bloom in my garden in the hot, humid days of August, when the nights begin to cool and the gentlest touch of autumn is in the air. In this part of the world, the harvest is at its ripest now. Roadside farmers secret extra ears of corn into each bag, green beans spill out of marketplace baskets and cartons, and luscious, ripe tomatoes, once treasures, weigh the basket as commonplace loads.

Saturated with bounty, August yet calls forth a note of sadness in the evening cicada’s song, its single-note melody somehow lonesome, its empty carapace a morningtime souvenir of another lifetime. As children, we prodded the insect’s shell and sipped the tender sap of phlox’s flower. Still these tokens take me there, to that youthful place of song and fruit and endless, wondrous mystery.