WORDS & IMAGES: HANNAH WATSON
The feeling of ascension washes over. I have reached the top of the mountain. It is the edge of starkness, cold and damp. There may still be sleeping bears in these hills, nestled neath gnarled ash roots. Herein lies the secret to all delicate woes and worries. This very mountaintop. Sun blaring and angels singing through the tendrils of the wind cracking, her soft hair. I have fallen in love again — “Oh and springtime would know it— there’s nowhere that wouldn’t carry the sound of that annunciation. First those small, querying up-notes that a pure affirming day from afar hushes all around in mounting stillness. Then up steps, up call-steps, to the dreamed-of temple of the future—; and then the trill, fountain whose urgent jet bursts up through its own falling in this contest of promises . . . and soon to come, the summer.” Rilke.
I’ll give you all I have, summer. All the glistening salty oceandrops & teardrops that cull the deep knowing of contentedness. Here I come, summer. I live for you, summer. In all your warmth and fiddle tunes and bonfires and echoes of forrest laughter. These snapshots of life form moments that contribute to feelings of eras. I refuse to let the era of this confusing time taint my summer days. Because what else is left but to experience you in your most physically demanding yet serene trailways. I’ve known you for a long time, summer, and each time I sing your praises, joyously drenched in sweat at the end of a long evening of dancing. The early promises in March, the sweet sounds of June cicadas in your fullness, rushing creeks, quiet drips of perspiring beads in the dark hallways between bands playing. Salty kisses. If I were a witch (witch, I may be) I would concoct a medicine that would pull all the energies of the earth in summertime and infuse it into bottles of elderflower nectar and pass it out to all the sweet lovers out there who seek solace in this time of grieving, unraveling, deportations, and war. How can I better support you, summer? So that your endless days of light do not go unnoticed or passed by in the slightest sin of dullness. I’ll pledge to attune myself to your sensory delights, visions of bunnies hopping past an outdoor shower, groundhogs shuffling about atop windswept balds, and finally the magnificent graces of fireflies illuminating your mountain hollers. You cannot go back to ignorance, but you can fill the new space with joyous occasion, and you can let go of what has grown stale.
I’ll be there waiting for you, summer. Waiting for the Buddha toad that sits nostrils flaring under the porch steps in the twilight. I’ll come have a beer next to you, toad, and tell you of my worries. And you, summer toad, will so graciously possess the patience to listen into the unending hours of the night. Time stands still and waits for your heart to catch up, in the summer. Last summer all I had to do was build a house, listen to radio shows of Appalachian ballads, dunk my flushed face each night in the Laurel River, and walk the property barefoot next to the bespeckled pup of my dreams, my wildman. Tiny chairs of my cousin’s sweet babes sat in Bear Creek behind the new house being built with wood, clay, straw. It was this most recent summer that stirred in me something new yet familiar, from childhood perhaps, indicative of deeper troves that may lie dormant for the other three seasons, yet delight in being drawn out in lengthy chapters during the one true season of light. There is no sweeter time to be alive than summer. It is the time to love what you’ve got while you’ve got it.
Would you like to take a magic rabbit carpet ride with me, this summer?