Random Thoughts for Another Midsummer Night’s Eve

midsummer

  • But two days left to spring and then the longest day of the year on Sat., the 20th. Only why do they call it “Midsummer” (as in “Night’s Eve”) if it’s the first day of summer? I’ve always wanted to ask a learn’d astronomer that, but they all went into hiding after the Walt Whitman poem. Just, meet deserts!
  • Read in the paper where an epidemiologist said that “Covid-19 is only in the 2nd inning, yet people are behaving as if the ballgame is over!” Human nature, I want to say. I mean, people went three whole months without a haircut or manicure so what do you expect! Is it any wonder they have come up with their own ad hoc conclusions? Is it any wonder a few picked up their Second Amendments, stormed state capitals, and whined, “Don’t Tread On Me!” and “Liberty!” (Insert eye roll here.)
  • Speaking of ad hoc conclusions and Midsummer, Saturday also brings the prospect of thousands of people in Tulsa, Not OK, exposing themselves to each other and the president at a political rally that’s about as necessary as mosquitoes.
  • Funny how the president once cancelled bombing raids on Iran because there’d be “too many body bags,” but now is full steam ahead on creating Covid’s favorite conditions (crowds in close proximity shouting and cheering and laughing at horrible jokes) among his fellow Americans, which may lead to body bags (and one would be one too many). Honestly, I hope no one gets seriously ill due to this stupidity, but the collision of irony and ignorance is beyond frustrating.
  • In 2018, I wrote a poem about Blueberry the Duck in Lost Sherpa of Happiness. This duck showed up near my legs as I stood in the water picking from a shoreline blueberry bush (she was patiently waiting for “droppers,” which she promptly scooped up). Today Blueberry D. returned, only with 8 ducklings in tow. I was on the dock reading Carson McCullers when I heard a quack on the dock behind me. There she stood halfway between me and the stairs into the water where her charges were cleaning themselves fastidiously, four ducklings to a step. No other duck would have been so comfortable. Only a duck with blueberry memories, I figured. When I turned in my seat to look at her, she simply looked back with that bill of goods of hers. You know. The kind that says, “S’up? Seen any blueberries lately?”
  • Back in March, I was despondent over the loss of televised March Madness due to Covid-19. I was sad to see Major League Baseball’s spring training disappear, too. Only now, some four months into this mess, I’m not missing baseball (or much any other sport) in the least. Who says pandemics don’t change people? The only question being, is it for the better? (And if more time for reading and writing means “better,” the answer is apparently “yes”!)
  • Today I ate a raw rhubarb stalk for the first time. The leaves are poisonous. The stalks are safe. And sour. Really sour.
  • Also today, the deer fly arrived. When you do a daily four miles in the Maine summer (as is my wont mornings), deer fly are happy to accompany you all the way, constantly buzzing your head and landing where opportunity offers. Deer fly bite. You can read that two ways.
  • Hot black coffee on a 90-degree day oddly cools at about the same rate as it does in a 65-degree house in winter. I think this was a Galileo experiment in the Tower of Pisa (coffee leaning in the mug).
  • Today I received a reply from a prospective poetry publication the same day I sent my submission in. The editor said he was turning it back because, after listing in Submittable, they had been inundated with submissions. I replied, “Why not take the listing off Submittable, then, so as to not waste other writers’ time not to mention yours?” I said it nicely. Really. And like to think he took it that way.
  • But probably it was an auto reply and he never took it any way.
  • An adolescent snapping turtle has moved into the neighborhood. A few years back it was a Northern Water Snake. I’m not sure which is worse, but I’m sure my naturalist friends would tell me both play an important part in the local ecosystem. More important than me, they’d add.
  • It’s always sobering to be told you rate somewhere below amphibians and reptiles in the scheme of things.
  • The further north you travel in Maine, the fewer masks you see in stores. Like New York, Maine has an upstate identity quite different from its southern one. In Massachusetts, its the west (Berkshires) vs. the east (Boston area), but in that case both enclaves are bluer than blue. Not so New York and Maine.
  • I saw a baby mink this week. If you thought puppies and kittens were cute, you haven’t seen a baby mink.
  • This used to be the time of year school ended in the northern U.S. No sooner does summer vacation commence when days start getting shorter. At the time, it seemed like the new play, A Midsummer Night’s Dirty Trick: Shakespeare’s Sequel.
  • What? Friday already? As you age, tempus has a way of fugiting more and more.
  • I’ve heard some older folks grump about 18 months of their lives lost to this damn pandemic thing as they are forced to hunker down, live like hermits, and not have fun or get to see the grandkids, to which I can only logically say, “I hear you and sympathize because I hate it, too. That said, 18 months is better than eternity if you let your guard down and catch this thing. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but E=MC Squared (Eternity = Months & Centuries Squared)!”
  • Somehow that is of little solace. Meanwhile, we await the 3rd inning.

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