Night Garden

That Summer Feeling

To Soften the Edges

Hello from the garden where summer’s wearing her last few sundresses, and where night is falling one hour earlier than when we arrived.

When the cool of the pond makes you drop down on it
When the smell of the lawn makes you flop down on it…
The time is here for one more year
That summer feeling’s gonna haunt you
One day in your life.

–Jonathan Richman

In so many ways, this summer has been idyllic summer. It feels like stolen time. My boys run barefoot all summer. A dead mouse is found during a scavenger hunt, a jam jar fashioned as a home for a grasshopper. Emmet learns not to be afraid of minnows and how to swim. My mother with her soft skin and calm is the backdrop to all of this, often in bed under covers resting, or playing “Double” Solitaire with August. Or, she’s in her garden weeding, working, untangling the wild honeysuckle. Though this year, not so much in the garden.You know, you’ve got to tell me where you want to photograph each night so I can get that part of the garden ready for you.

It’s true, she’s not at work in the garden as much this year, but she likes to direct, Did you see this over here, make sure you photograph it tonight. Or – Make sure you get this one, it won’t be here tomorrow…

Today she’s at the hospital. Her creatinine is high. The tumor is pushing on one kidney, impeding it. She’s had a double J stent in all summer but it isn’t doing its job. There was ecoli in her urine so she’s on antibiotics. She is being looked after well; the doctor’s say this is all very standard. This week she had chemo number four, five hours of magnesium and was hydrated through an IV. When I talk to her on the phone she says, I’m glad I brought a good book.

I never hear her complain.

I want to stop time, slow it down, put it in a little box or a glass jar, like my insect-catching, eight-year old son. I’m trying to hold it in my hands in this rough impossible way but, of course, I can’t. It slips through my fingers like lake water.


The Cosmos

Categorised as: Night Garden

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