My friend Melinda came to visit the Long Island Sound this week, an escapee to our northern climate from the swelter of the Carolinas. We took a short walk on the lawns of an old Gold Coast mansion in the neighborhood. “Is August really your favorite month?” she asked me, and even though I was crab-walking in the shade of an enormous locust tree (the better to focus on the ground beneath my feet) I could detect a tone of skepticism in her voice.
“Yeah,” I said. “I really like August.” And then I held up a bright yellow flight feather (see above) that I’d just discovered in the dust and dried leaves, bits of Robin’s egg shell and wind-blown needles from nearby evergreens: My trophy of the day.
Yes, I really, really like August.
When I found that yellow feather I already had my hands full with my other treasures (see above): an owl’s feather and a bird’s nest — all from simply keeping August on my mind, and eyes on the ground.
Yes, it was the strangest thing, finding that bird’s nest upside down on the grass. I guessed it had fallen out of the plane tree above, which gave me the idea to start hunting underneath any one of the hundreds of ancient hard wood trees on this property. I only had to search one other tree to find my feathers — now I ask you: What else do you need to make you love August?
(Besides not living in Texas or North Carolina, or Georgia, or any of those places you tell me about where August bores into your skull like a thousand hot pokers and wears you down like a thousand wrap-around wool blankets infested with chiggers and bad news, that is.)
Not to brag or anything, but today it’s 74 degrees, cloudy, with signs of rain. This, even on the Long Island Sound, is a gift in August: a day when I just might have to put on a sweater. It’s as good a tea day as it gets (in August): and that’s what I’ll be doing today. I’ve picked out two kinds of tea (Brodie’s Edinburgh Blend and Tealuxe Copely Place Vanilla) for my long afternoon of lounging and extended mental waywardness. I will be in the exact right frame of mind to consider each and every delicious kind of tea you all have invented this past week, and doing my best to pick a winner. It won’t be easy, but I can always resort to numerology, spells, a throw of the I Ching, or reading tea leaves if I have to.
Also this weekend I’ll be working on a new painting — which I’ll show here on Monday — as my art journal lesson of the month.