|Taken last week by Roger Iverson|
It's hard for me to believe that it's already the middle of May and that everything is in full flower, but it is. The seasons fly by so fast, and every time I mark the moment with a post, like this lovely May morning, it's time to think of summer, which is pushing spring out of the way so we can bask in summer's heat. Well, we don't often get temperatures into the 90-degree range, so I'm talking about relative heat. Some people are already experiencing temperatures hotter than we get all summer long.
But that might change this summer. Everything is topsy-turvy, weather wise, around the world. One of my blogging friends in Australia laments that her spring flowers are coming out, and they are moving into winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Never happened before. And I learned that Artist Point, the terminus of the Mt. Baker Highway, has just opened, six weeks before its normal opening date. It's usually buried in snow until around the end of June, but not this year. Because of the record-low snowfall in the wilderness this past winter, crews were able to clear this road of snow to open the hiking season early. Before this year, the earliest the road had been opened was June 29. Now that's scary.
I fear we have a very hot summer ahead for us, with lots of wildfires and unaccustomed heat during our usually rain-free July and August. All the lushness of the Pacific Northwest fuels fires when everything dries out. But what am I doing? My sister would say I am "awful-izing," worrying about events that may or may not come about. Instead, I think it's much more fruitful to enjoy the moment and let the future take care of itself. Whatever is going on with the weather, there's not much I can do about it, in any event. Right now we are enjoying mild temperatures with lots of sun and a bit of rain, so I'll concentrate on that.
Last evening I attended a wonderful concert by the Bellingham Chamber Chorale, which I enjoyed very much. My friend Al (our hiking leader) sings in the chorale and keeps us hikers informed of the concerts as they come around. Otherwise, I would have missed this incredible experience. This particular concert concentrated on music of the Pacific Rim, singing songs in Spanish, Korean, Japanese and (of course) English. I still have some of the music reverberating in my head, and moments from the concert keep coming back to me as I sit here thinking about it. There were plenty of soloists last night, and everyone performed flawlessly. My hands were sore from clapping so hard at the finish.
But rather than mingle with my friends who also attended the concert, I quickly made my way to the parking lot so I could drive myself home with a bit of light still in the sky. I don't drive at night very much any more, because the cataracts in my eyes cause the glare of oncoming headlights to make driving difficult. And I was in a part of town I don't know well, but I made it home safely. At this time of year, we have light in the sky well past 9:00pm, a time when I would normally be horizontal in bed. It was worth it, though. It's nice to know I can still stay awake and enjoy an evening concert now and then. During the long days of spring and summer, at least. The sun didn't set until 8:47pm last night, and we are enjoying more than 16 hours of daylight right now. Some people love the long days, but I am happiest with a compromise between the dark nights of winter and the long days of summer.
In fact, now that I think of it, May is probably one of my favorite times of the year. Everything is bursting with life, and we are shedding our old familiar raincoats and showing some skin. Well, everybody but me, that is. I keep a couple pairs of shorts for those times when I visit my sister in Florida, but otherwise I don't expose my legs, and it's been ages since I've worn a sleeveless blouse. Short sleeves, maybe, but sleeveless? I'd be so self conscious that it's not worth it.
Funny when I think about how much I've changed since I've gotten old. There was a time when I had no problem at all (and it wasn't that long ago) making a naked skydive with a bunch of friends. I think I might have written about it one time or another. In fact, I looked it up and here's the story. I wrote it five years ago, if you're interested in how we accomplished it. But these days I look at the beautiful blue sky and the first thing that comes to my mind is not rushing down to Skydive Snohomish to make a jump. Instead, I think of my garden. And nobody is calling me and begging me to come down, either, so you know what? I might be done. By the time this season is over, I think I can call it part of my personal history.
Everything moves on, it's just the way of things. There was also a time when I couldn't ride a bike and had to learn. Now bike riding is something I can still do, and I am thinking of purchasing a really good bike to take the place of the used one I bought a couple of years ago. I finally gave it away, since I rode it so seldom, but the problem was not riding it but the clunkiness of it, not to mention having to haul it up and down sixteen steps from my apartment. But I still enjoy riding a bike and maybe I'll take it up again. It's not out of the question. Having a seventy-something old lady riding a bike is much more acceptable than having her jumping out of airplanes. But I can still do that, too, if I want. I'm still current and my gear languishes in my closet, ready for action. For the moment.
And just like magic, another post is almost ready. I didn't have any idea what I would write about this morning, and although it's not all that deep and introspective, it's where I am at the moment. That's the point of this Sunday morning activity, anyway: to remind myself what's on my mind, and who I am on this beautiful May morning. I hope that the coming week will bring you, my dear friends, a wonderful week filled with love.