Long days, short seasons

I was startled by the starting gun blasting us into summer. Everyone else burst from the starting blocks and I was left in the dust.

Here’s what happened. I was away for ten days until the end of May. During that time, the lilacs bloomed and I missed it. Then I blinked and it was 97 degrees. Minnesotans appeared in their shorts and flip-flops and shoulder sunburns and I am not ready. We had a frost advisory just a few weeks ago and now it’s SUMMER, all caps, hurry up and get to the lake.

I don’t know where my shorts are. I can’t find the nozzle for the hose. I didn’t get the day lilies planted and the ground has turned to rock. The page has turned and I wasn’t quite finished reading that last paragraph.

I suspect real Minnesotans understand that haste is of the essence. They are experts at these transitions. I’m not. Not yet.

But I get it. Summer is fleeting and there’s no time to waste. The growing season is short, after all, and before we know it, the leaves will turn glorious shades and wind gusts will turn them into compostable litter. The snow will swirl and blanket us in frosty drifts. Twilight will arrive in the afternoon and we’ll turn on twinkly lights to cheer ourselves up. The stillness of winter will be upon us.

This was the view from my back deck last night.)

But nevermind that! Like a squirrel hoarding acorns for the winter, Minnesotans are floating on lakes, speeding on jet skis, gliding by on kayaks and seizing the (extremely long) day. (Do you know that the sun sets after 9 PM here in the north? And it rises by 5:30 AM. The days are long!) Every town seems to have its festival. The corn is growing in the fields between here and there. Entire families bicycle past my house.

Hurry, hurry, hurry, you’re going to miss it if you don’t hurry!

That’s how summer feels to me right now.

So today I bought some plants for my back deck. I swept and then used the hose (without the missing nozzle) to wash off the chairs.

The race has begun! (Where are we going?)


I need a popsicle, stat!

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