Print this page
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 14:03

Summer salad worth a thousand words

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Setting down the notebook where I stash ideas throughout the days, I sit at my laptop and begin to stir together thoughts about summer.


There was the day of walking around downtown that turned my black-and-hot-pink flip flops into flop flops. There was my certainty, after pulling into a parking spot at a favourite restaurant, and stepping out into a crunch of sunflower seed husks, that holidayers from Saskatchewan must have been there first.
And then POOF! I can’t think of anything.
I don’t know much about my new neighbours. Only that they replaced the old neighbours, with the ceaselessly barking dog.
I know they have eclectic taste in music (anything from reggae to dance to metal to folk). I know they bought new speakers when they moved in. And I know they’ll be considerate and turn them down if I let them know I’m home and bothered.
I am both.
Today it’s dance music. Muffled by the drywall.
But what I want is to hear the birds. Wind chimes tinkling in the warm breeze. The afternoon’s sun showers. I want to hear the quiet, which is exactly what I was listening to before the music.
I send a polite text, and minutes later, the music withdraws back into the wall, and try to find where I left off.
Summer. Heat haze. The swaths of waist-high lavender mounds that make our home and environs look and smell like a Provencal garden. The nodding hydrangea, and day lilies that are true to their name, unfurling creamy morning blossoms that, in the evening are half-composted on the stalk, dying so completely on cue that they could never be called day-and-a-half lilies or anything but their true name.
At the hummingbird feeder, which I’ve lately moved my desk to see as I work, this year’s hatchlings sit and sip, blissful and ignorant of the aerial skirmishes being fought out by parent birds trying to claim the entire replenishing litre of sugar syrup for themselves.
Under physiotherapist orders not to spend more than 20 minutes at a time at my desk, I turn off the fifth such timer of the day and set my laptop to sleep. I leave the house, realizing at once that I’ve chosen to mosey out for a green tea lemonade during the afternoon’s hottest hours, which people in cleverer climates have set aside for siesta.
At a busy intersection, a young woman, impeccably dressed and wearing three-inch stiletto heels and no helmet rides her bike against traffic.
I order my iced tea, turn towards home, and am soon waving my hands through the lavender, stopping to admire local honeybees that have thoroughly pollinated these mounds.
On the lane, I see our neighbour, smile in greeting, then step through my door to find a house that smells of tomatoes basting in hot oil, and Chefhusband putting together a salad with bowtie noodles, goat cheese and ribbons of baby zucchini. A dish and a picture as close to the feeling I was trying to shape as the words I was using to shape it.

Read 3112 times Last modified on Wednesday, 24 July 2013 14:16