Archived Story

Bright spots among soggy summer

Published 9:06am Friday, July 26, 2013

The oriole sings in the greening grove

As if he were half-way waiting,

The rosebuds peep from their hoods of green,

Timid and hesitating.

The rain comes down in a torrent sweep

And the nights smell warm and piney,

The garden thrives, but the tender shoots

Are yellow-green and tiny.

Then a flash of sun on a waiting hill,

Streams laugh that erst were quiet,

The sky smiles down with a dazzling blue

And the woods run mad with riot.

– Paul Laurence Dunbar, “Summer in the South”

A humid, soggy summer dampens the spirits: I feel like there’s no end to the rain — there must be a bumper crop of mushrooms growing beneath this old house, and I’m feeling like one myself.

Recently one morning I threw on light, loose baggy clothing for a day of hard work: hauling things, hammering, climbing ladders, grime. Of course, you don’t wear nice duds for a workday unless you have no common sense or a huge ego. So, bandanna on, I climbed, swept, sweated and hauled. Despite all that, the little inner voice would not shut up: these are “fat clothes”. (No snide remarks on that.)

Of course, any woman on the planet is nodding her head, whether she’s a size 0 or not: we all know what those cursed fat clothes are: the most comfortable things around, naturally. Oh, I was marked. Things went wrong; nothing was going right. Of course, I knew what to blame. At the end of the day, the offending baggy pants, shirt, bandanna were banished to the laundry basket. 

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