Sitting in the garden in the late afternoon of the day before the solstice. Starting tomorrow, the sunrise in the northeast will gradually slip south, until all we’ll see on the morning horizon are pinky-orange streaks, and the garden will be in shadow until early spring. But now, on this late afternoon in summer, the sky overhead is cerulean blue, the ironwood and magnolia are swaying in a gentle wind, and the scent of jasmine fills the air.
How I’d love to celebrate the solstice at Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain one day. Imagine, wandering between those massive stones, dreaming of Merlin’s giant. No wandering now, I think. It’s all fenced in, I missed my chance.
My down-the-hill neighbor is building a fortress, apparently for the honeysuckle climbing her fence. They’ve sunk large, sturdy timbers into the soil and are nailing thick slats across them. It’ll take awhile for the honeysuckle to knock it down, but it’ll triumph, as the jasmine has on my north fence and the grape vine on the west. The vines always win in the end.
The mocking birds that have been in attack mode all week have calmed down, so maybe the fledglings have fledged. Small swarms of finches arrive and leave, a lone raven drifts black against the sky, and, far overhead, a two brilliantly white gulls are circling, circling in the widening gyre.
And I am circling too, around and around, no where to go, nothing to do, passing the time with inanities. George Quant, my audio TM teacher, says concentration, will power, and control are what we must let go of, they don’t bring you wisdom. They don’t bring lasting sobriety, either. White-knuckling isn’t a successful strategy.
I want to drink. I want not to want to drink. I wish it would all just go away, like a teenage interest I’ve outgrown. It’s not urgent anymore, but it’s always there in the background, circling, circling.