Summer is my favorite season. July is my favorite month. It brings many memories of celebrations–two birthdays and our wedding.
Having a birthday in July is perfect when I was a kid. Halfway through the year, there were presents–almost like Christmas, except they were all for me. My mother baked cake-sized, flaky biscuits, covered them with quarts of fresh strawberries, and topped them with whipped cream for my favorite birthday cake.
In 1955, my husband and I married and we began living the next 58 plus years together. We made our home in several places, but celebrated each year we were together.
On Bastille Day in 1960, our son was born giving us another birthday to celebrate. Now married to a loving woman, he is father to two growing boys adding to that joy.
July is a month of fast growth in the garden. Lettuces, radishes, scallions, tiny beets, ripening tomatoes are incredible gifts. Flowers burst into bloom everywhere—in my garden and along highways and roads.
But the long July days grow shorter and are gone too soon. Thus the poem I share with you:
Goodbye, July. Goodbye to lusty greens
that promised to last forever.
Goodbye to long, long daylight.
Farewell to fickle newness,
Goodbye to gentleness of breeze,
to rain and unhurried sun,
your soft mornings
and your teasing evenings.
heart-breaking aromas of
thyme and mown grass
and tree, horizon and
You seduce my mind and eye,
draw flabby senses into
Goodbye, July. Away with
pretense and tease.
No more flirting.
Send me an August, take me back
to honest promises of May
fulfilling, that early on
Richard E. Lake