summer wonder

(a prose poem)

In the absence of the extraordinary, being in awe requires the effort of noticing. On a ordinary, sunny day, I walked a familiar shaded path and I did my best to notice:

The shimmer of light on the water, so bright it stuns the eyes, hinting at the waves on the surface. The wind, soft and cool, so gentle with the quivering leaves. But then again, the wind, so playful with the grasses and flowers who dance and sway, leaning together to whisper summer secrets. The brook, stumbling over stones, burbling all the while, content to keep its own company. The winding road, its blind corners rounded by small cars, by family vans, by boats returning from the lake, by couples and families and lone adventurers. Carefree laughs, drifting down the river, belonging to strangers I will never know, each only a person, no more and no less.


Noticing the smallness of the rocks that crunch under my sneakers, the bigness of the trees reaching up to the sky, the middleness of my own size, how I can feel at one moment enormous, and the next microscopic. Sunlight softened by leaves, like the glow of a flashlight under a blanket. The utmost delicacy of living things and their not-quite stillness like a semicolon, a pause, never a full stop. And a hundred other sensations tripping their way to the front of my mind now that my attention is up for grabs.

This is the start of my summer. Warm and bright and full of awe.