The Sweet Spot

At the end of a hot summer day there is a time I call ‘the sweet spot’. It is short and should not be missed. Recently I had the pleasure of experiencing it with a friend in a small, hospital garden. This inspired me to write the following poem. Now, for those of you who know the rules for writing poetry, you will say, “she broke all the rules”. I don’t care. I am simply putting words to my experience.

At the end of a hot summer day there is a sweet spot

The air becomes soft and gentle

The breeze caresses your face

Despite this breeze the garden is still

A raised garden sports food for future dishes

Tangy dill, pungent cilantro, tiny green tomatoes

Perhaps a salsa in the making

Puffy, white hydrangea gleam in the shade

Tiny, red roses climb with abandon, yellow day lilies in constant bloom

All ignoring the tall weeds that crowd into the garden

Wasps flit under the wooden table to build a nest

A sidewalk winds its way around the small space

Quiet relaxation to soothe the soul

Dampness creeps in to chase the sweet spot away

Scant minutes and it is gone

The sweet spot is not a time to pull weeds, or take on other gardening duties. It is a time to savour a glass of wine, a cup of tea or coffee and best of all to spend time with a friend and engage in quiet conversation. Don’t miss ‘the sweet spot of summer’.

Summer’s Grip on September

Despite the heat and humidity fall is in the air. My glorious flowers are starting to show their age. The vibrant, fuchsia petunias still proudly show off their blooms but are now on long, leggy stems. Morning glories are climbing over the fence in the backyard. Pots of yellow, bronze and red mums are appearing on front steps. Giant, red hibiscus snuggle up against the hydrangea, knowing all to well that soon the dreaded ‘frost warning’ will destroy their beauty.

Past their glory
Past their glory
Climbing the fence
Climbing the fence
Waiting for frost
Waiting for frost

Squirrels are busy hiding nuts. We watch them scurry about the lawn with their treasurers clamped securely in their jaws and shake our heads when we find they have dug holes into our flower beds to hide the nuts. Birds are busy flitting about the trees. Saucy blue jays screech from the tree tops; while a flock of starlings complain nearby.

The air has a smell of decaying foliage and grass. Fall is creeping closer as summer fights to keep a hot grip on the days of September.

Do not expect to see trees take on the mantel of fall. The reds, oranges and yellows of autumn will be tempered with dried browns.

During a walk crickets can be heard chirping; a definite sound of fall. Evening walks now take place as the daylight recedes.

I am looking forward to pulling out my sweaters, socks and jackets. Don’t get me wrong I am not courting cold, bitter temperatures; just cozy sweater weather.

The big yellow monster pulls up on the street and gobbles up the children, only to return at the end of the day and spit them back out. Yes, the routine of school has returned in the neighbourhood. After school activities begin as well, with hockey and figure skating sign ups.

Fall programs are being advertised for adults. Those who have spent the summer at the cottage or relaxing on their decks are wooed back to exercise and arts programs in the community.

Ahh, even as a retiree I look forward to routine and the change of seasons.